(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "History of Humboldt County, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present"

HAROLD B. LEE LiD^ARY 

BWQHAM ^fOU^iQ UNiV'iRSiTY 

PROVO. UTAH 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2011 with funding from 
Brigham Young University 



http://www.archive.org/details/historyofhumboldOOirvi 



HISTORY 



O F 



HUMBOLDT COUNTY 
CALIFORNIA 



WITH 



Biographical Sketches 



OF 



The Leading Men and Women of the County 

who have been Identified with its Growth 

and Development from the Earh) 

Days to the Present 




History by Leigh H. Irvine 



ILLUSTRATED 
COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME 



HISTORIC RECORD COMPANY 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 

19 15 



•■(^•^^ ^ / 



THE LIBRARY 

BRIGHAM YOUiNG UNH FRSITY 

PROVO, UT\H 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I. 

The Origin of the Name California 17 

Its alleged formation from two Spanish or Latin words — First appearance of 
the name — Result of E. E. Hale's investigations. 

CHAPTER II. 

The North Was Slow to be Discovered 19 

Knowledge of Humboldt county vague prior to war of Rebellion — Indians 
and wild beasts only tenants — First white inhabitants — Causes of slow 
development — The Laura Virginia Association — -First expedition of the 
Laura Virginia — H. H. Buhne discovers mouth of Klamath river — Interesting 
experiences with Indians in crossing Mad river — Entrance to Humboldt Bay 
discovered. 

CHAPTER III. 

The Discovery of Humboldt Bay 24 

Authentic information regarding early explorations — Cabrillo and Ferrelo — 
Sir Francis Drake — Robert Dudley — Humboldt Bay not known to the 
Spaniards — Vancouver's explorations — Discovery of Bay by water due to 
activities of Russians — Capt. Jonathan Winship, an American, true dis- 
coverer — The Laura Virginia continues her cruise — Capt. H. Buhne — D. L. 
Thornbury summarizes his conclusions. 

CHAPTER IV. 

Land Discovery of Humboldt Bay 28 

Fascination attaching to exploits of Pioneers — The thrilling adventures of 
L. K. Wood and party — David A. Buck's contribution — Indians show friendly 
interest in the explorers' activities — Hardshii) and lack of food daily 
experiences — Wood's summary of the discovery — Life and death struggle 
with Grizzly bears — Some early explorations. 

CHAPTER V. 

Unique Early History --- - 46 

Early history of Humboldt county shows no trace of Spanish influence — The 
county still in its infancy as compared with what has been accomplished 
in the south — County not settled until after Mexican war — The scene of 
General Grant's early military services — Influence of Panama Canal, Hum- 
boldt Bay jetties and Northwestern Pacific Railroad — Resources of county 
unlimited — Rapid settlement after land discovery of Humboldt Bay — Mining 
more attractive than agriculture — Union, Bucksport and Eureka. 



V i CONTENTS 

CHAPTER VI. 

Gold Mines Lure Men to the North 50 

Early settlers inured to hardships — The lure of gold a powerful magnet — 
Influence of the discovery of gold on Humboldt county — Major P. B. Reading 
— Search for the mouth of Trinity river — Cruising expedition of the Cameo. 

CHAPTER VII. 

Grant's Career in Humboldt County 52 

Fort Humboldt the quarters of U. S. Grant in 1853 and 1854 — Two accounts 
of his life while at the Fort — Colonel Buchanan and Captain Grant not 
the best of friends — In those days only a mule trail connected Fort Hum- 
boldt with Eureka — An episode that gave rise to unfavorable comment — Mrs. 
Shields' account of Grant's voyage to Fort Humboldt — In spite of disagree- 
able experiences at the Fort, Grant had nothing but kind words for his 



associates. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



Early Troubles With the Indians 62 

Humboldt county formerly a part of Trinity county — The Klamath river 
an attraction for gold hunters — 111 feeling between old-timers and Indians — 
Interesting recollections of Mrs. R. F. Herrick — Her predictions regarding 
Indian war come true — The Klamath war of 1855 — Other battles and raids — 
Indian reservations. 

CHAPTER IX. 

Life and Times in the E.vrly Fifties 75 

"The days of old, the days of gold, the days of forty-nine" — John Carr's 
account of those days — Mail delivery — Crude habitations of settlers — Peril 
from rattlesnakes more disturbing than from bear or wild lion. 

CHAPTER X. 

Organization of Humboldt County. 77 

When state was divided into counties, in 1850, the northern region was not 
taken into account — Trinity county divided in 1852, again in 1853 — Humboldt 
county the western division — Humboldt and Siskiyou acquire territory of 
old Klamath county — Contest for county seat — Court of Sessions and County 
Court. 

CHAPTER XL 

Russians in Northern California 81 

The ship Ocean visits Humboldt Bay early in nineteenth century — Russian 
ship anchors in bay of San Francisco in 1806— Rezanof and his exploits— His 
romance woven into poem by Bret Harte— Captain Sutter takes over Russian 
holdings— Mexican Congress passes stringent laws against foreigners— Tom 
Gregory's account of Fort Ross situation— Close of Russian power in Cali- 
fornia. 

CHAPTER XTL 

Topography, Climate and Scenery go 

Natural barriers of mountain and forest made the county undesirable for 
settlement— Spanish priests preferred the milder climate of the south— G. A. 



CONTENTS V i i 

Kellogg's description of physical appearance of the county — Weather observa- 
tions of A. H. Bell — Many improvements under way to build better roads — 
The scenery of the county extremely picturesque — Much of the county still 
a virgin wilderness — Bull creek forest — Rivers, creeks and streams a boon 
to fishermen — Birds of the county. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Early Towns and Villages of Humboldt County 94 

No great Increase in population during 1851 and 1852 — Areata the only 
exception to the rule — Bucksport — Eureka — Trinidad — Hydesville — Rohner- 
ville — Eureka becomes county seat in 1856 — City waterworks built — Com- 
pletion of state highway to work a transformation in county. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Early School and Educational Activity. 99 

No historical data of educational matters in early days obtainable — First 
school organized in 1852 — Schools at Bucksport, Eureka and Areata — A 
number of eminent professional men in state were educated in Humboldt 
county — School system has been extended throughout county — High schools 
• — Bitter fight between Areata and Eureka for site of normal school — Areata 



won. 



CHAPTER XV. 



Early .Churches in Humboldt County 101 

Ten years before Civil war churches existed in the county — First meeting 
api)ointed for worship at Bucksport in 1850 — First Methodist Church building 
in Eureka dedicated in 1859 — Rohnerville Methodist Cliurch organized in 
1852 — Congregationalists organized churches in Eureka and Fterndale — 
Presbyterian. ITnited Brethren. Roman Catholic and Christian Science 
churches. 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Gold Mining in Humboldt County 106 

Early mining excitement bears an important part in making history — Placer 
mining followed with success in early days — The famous Orleans bar — 
Starvation times on Salmon river — Thousands of acres of gold-bearing land 
awaiting the miner with modern facilities for utilizing fine gold — Gold Bluff — 
Humboldt county claims some of the richest possibilities for platinum in 
the United States. 

CHAPTER XVII. 

History of the Lumber Industry 109 

Redwood forests and the lumber industry have an important place in the 
county's history — Science tells of great age of trees — Durability of redwood — 
History of manufacture of lumber dates from 1850 — Steady imi)rovement 
in methods and facilities — Record of shipments and values- — Non-combusti- 
ble qualities of redwood — Other trees of value in county — Wages of woods- 



men. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



Activity in 3Ianv Towns 121 

Early day industries as compared with the present — Activities stimulated 
by reason of projected highway and completion of railroad — Plans for im- 



V 1 1 1 



CONTENTS 



provement of towns and building of new ones — Like Switzerland, Humboldt 
county has many hotels and resorts — Rev. William Raders observations — 
Areata and its outlook — Fort Seward — Commercial activities of Eureka — 
Ferndale — Portuna — Loleta — Rohnerville — Trinidad — Hydesville — Alton — 
Metropolitan — Rio Dell— Scotia— Shively — Pepperwood— Dyerville — Blocks- 
burg — Alderpoint — Korbel — Blue Lake — Samoa— Carlotta. 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Promotion Activities 140 

Education of public sentiment an Important factor in community develop- 
ment — Interest in county aroused through magazines and other publica- 
tions — Development organizations discussed — Campaign- undertaken in 
behalf of community development — The work in charge of R. R. Wilson — 
Farm adviser installed in office in July, 1913 — Good roads — Humboldt Pro- 
motion and Development Committee — Chamber of Commerce of Humboldt 
county — Value of organized effort. 

CHAPTER XX. 

Past and Prospective Humboldt Agriculture 148 

No attempt at agriculture in early days — Radical change in conditions — 
Clover at one time king of agricultural products — Coming of Professor 
Christiansen and the organization of farm bureau arouse new interest — 
Humboldt Land and Development Company — Notable advance made in dairy 
industry — Humboldt's apple belt — Summary of conditions and possibilities 
by A. E. Btter. 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Humboldt's Bench and Bar.. 156 

History of Bench and Bar in California always regarded as romantic and 
unique — Impress made by settlers from Canada and New England — Official 
Court Reporter W. K. Strong gives entertaining account of early conflicts 
in court— Pioneer days in Humboldt county. 

CHAPTER XXII. 

The Eureka Free Library 116 

By H. A. Kendal 

First public reading room originated among members of Methodist Episcopal 
Church — Movement had steady growth from first — First board of library 
. trustees appointed — Eureka Library Association turns over its property to 
appointed trustees of Eureka Free Library — Movement started to secure 
Carnegie Library. 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

How THE Fifth Division, U. S. Naval IMilitia, Came Into Existence 170 

By A. B. Adams 

Meeting called for organization of a military company — Ofllcers elected — 
Anniversary of organization observed with appropriate ceremonies — Present 
officers of the division. 



INDEX 



Adams, Adolph B 568 

Aggeler. John A 1093 

Albee, John C 806 

Albee, Joseph C 1129 

Albonico, Thomas - 1107 

Allard, Frank and Charles 1217 

Allen, George R 854 

Ambrose, R 904 

Ambrosini, Ferdinand 1110 

Ambrosini, Frank 1109 

Ambrosini, John D 1102 

Ambrosini, Martin 977 

Ambrosini, Rudolpli D 1120 

Ambrosini, Victor 1094 

Anderson, Axel 946 

Anderson, Horace C 687 

Anderson, James P 482 

Anderson, Jasper 347 

Anderson, John P 1198 

Anderson, Peter 851 

Aquistapace, Rocco 1236 

Arnliart, Sterling P 1276 

Ayer. Fred Y 1 195 



B 



Backenstose, Edward 556 

Bagley, Joseph 252 

Bair, Fred S 1238 

Bair, Thomas 349 

Baird, John R 279 

Baird, Thomas 279 

Baker, Leon 820 

Baldwin, Daniel A 924 

Banducci, Amato 1 103 

Barber, Herbert A 837 

Barkdull, Joseph C 1057 

Barloggi, Louis 1 192 

Barnes, Alfred 439 

Barnum, Fred B - 716 

Barnwell, William H 622 

Barry, Mrs. Mary 1137 

Baumgartner, Fred 645 

Beckwith, Caroline C 593 

Beckwith, Frank W 594 

Beers, Isaac A 514 

Belcher, Frank W 705 

Belcher, Peter 225 

Bendixsen, Hans D 809 

Bernardi, Cipriano M 615 

Bernardi, Frank J 505 

Bertain. Louis A 660 

Berti, Charles 937 



Berti, Isaac 706 

Bertsch, Frank H j 1181 

Bettazza, Antonio 1183 

Bettencourt, Sam 1230 

Bettigieo, Emillio 1104 

Biasca, Attilio 1159 

Biasca, B. J 1101 

Biasca, Gervaiso and Angelica 1118 

Biasca, Ralph 759 

Biondini, Eugene 1182 

Blackburn, Arthur W 621 

Blackburn, James F 435 

Blake, John H 1241 

Bloemer, John H 578 

Bohmansson, Robert H 1232 

Bonomi, Angelo 1102 

Bonomini, James 1017 

Bonomini, Joseph.... 1016 

Bonomini, Joseph 11 18 

Bowden, John W 975 

Bowden, William H 1131 

Boyce, James 275 

Boyes, George 951 

Boyes, William 1153 

Boynton, Rollin D 1171 

Brambani, Agostino 1009 

Branstetter, Joseph O 1033 

Bravo, Henry 1196 

Brazil, John 1226 

Brazil, Manvel 1224 

Brice, George M 426 

Briceland. John C 1 190 

Briggs, Herbert N 243 

Brightman, Emory A 498 

Brizard, Alexander 175 

Brown, Clyde A 1169 

Brown, James B 291 

Brown, James D. H 769 

Brown, John H 1044 

Brown, Lot M 1128 

Brown, Thomas M < 276 

Brown, William A 1172 

Bruner, Francis M., M. D 1075 

Bryan. John W 970 

Bryan, Lloyd, M. D : 424 

Bryant, Charles C 1010 

Bryant, Rolla 1060 

Buchanan, Charles D 1055 

Buhne, Capt. H. H 1282 

Buhne, Henry H 237 

Bull, John C, Jr 1220 

Bullock, Nathaniel 1048 

Bullwinkel, Conrad....: 612 

Burgess, George W 590 

Burnell, Joel S 534 

Burns, Thomas M 363 



INDEX 



Burrill, Walter L 866 

Byard, Robert E 678 

c 

Cain, Frank L 693 

Cairns. John J 1092 

Cameron, Edwin H 1066 

Campbell, Duncan 720 

Canclini, Pietro 1103 

Carland, Patrick E 1017 

Carothers, James 700 

Carr, Thomas 313 

Carr, Thomas K 734 

Carroll, Matthew 1 100 

Carson, William 607 

Cartwright, Arthur E 1073 

Casacca, Joseph 977 

Cathey, Andrew J 1215 

Cathey, David 1216 

Caton, Alice E 829 

Caton, Joseph 830 

Cave, Hugh L 490 

Celli, Giocondo 1064 

Chain, John N., M. D 502 

Chamberlain, Mrs. Dixie 271 

Chamberlain, Joseph D. H 196 

Christen, Edward 1105 

Christensen, Hans C 500 

Christen sen, John 403 

Christensen, Peter H 859 

Christiansen, Andrew H 264 

Christiansen, Charles 1277 

Christiansen, Jorgcn C 394 

Christie, Alexander 1228 

Christie, Charles J 195 

Church, Walter M 703 

Clark, Hon. Jonathan 744 

Clark, Walter E 410 

Clark, William S 331 

Clausen, Jens E 1046 

Cleary, James T ...1058 

Cloney, Frank E 569 

Close, George H 241 

Cobb, Mrs. Margaret S 952 

Coggeshall Launcli and Tow Boat Co. 298 

Colwell, William II 1257 

Comisto, Silvio 1170 

Connick, Hon. Clifton H 261 

Cbnnick, John M 1247 

Cook, George W 464 

Cook, Levant 467 

Cook, William E 262 

Coombe, Donald P 471 

Cooper, Edgar C 302 

Cooper, George W 1201 

Copcland, James C 1260 

Copland, Robert 1243 

Coppini, John W 715 

Cornwell, George E 1275 

Cottrell, Augustus 596 

Cottrell, Charles C, M. D 1019 

Cottrell, E. Lester, M. D 1023 

Cottrell & Shields 544 

Counts, George W 844 

Cousins, Euphronius 808 

Cousins, Henry H 275 



Cowen, Harry 879 

Cox, George H 448 

Cox, Henry 766 

Craigie, May R 842 

Grain, Judson W 1088 

Crivelli, Mark C - 1187 

Crivelli, Secundo 1 1 16 

Cronin, James J 1112 

Cross, Charles 1096 

Crowe, George A 570 

Crowley, William 869 

Cummings, Amos M 1028 

Cummings, Frank J 771 

Curless, Biar 698 

Curless, George G 835 

Curless, Wright S 348 

Cutler, Fletcher A 542 

Cutten, Charles P 1079 

Cutten, David P 640 

D 

Dale, Jeremiah 756 

Daly Brothers 1 179 

Daly, Cornelius D 1180 

Damgaard, A 556 

Davies, Jasper N 1205 

Dean, John E 849 

Dean, Samuel R ! 848 

Decker, Jacob H 895 

Delaney, Peter 1 140 

DeMello, Manuel E 961 

Deming, Byron 408 

Deuel, Frank 519 

Devlin, Elmer L 1090 

Dickson, Robert O 698 

Dinsmore, Albert M 675 

Dinsmore, Frank W^ 316 

Dinsmore, Fred A 1203 

Dixon, Ernest W 1229 

Docili, Otto 743 

Domenighini, Silvio 1119 

Dorais, Louis P., M. D 382 

Drewry, Irvin H 516 

Dukes, Mrs. Minnie F 775 

Durnford, Ernest M 711 

Dusi, Albert 1 184 

Dusi, Basilio 1106 

Dusina. Dan 985 

E 

East, Daniel J 1218 

East, Lewis S 297 

Eckart, Emil B 1 194 

Edmonstone, George 1082 

Ehreiser, W 1163 

Engstrom, Frank 1280 

Enos, Antonc 989 

Epps, C. S 1261 

Erickson, Leven C 794 

Eriksen, Martin 423 

Eskesen, Christen 781 

Essig, Frank 963 

Etter, Albert F 627 

Etter Brothers 631 

Evans, Lee E 1132 



INDEX 



X 1 



Everding, Charles 560 

Everts, John 776 

F 

Falk, Charles C, M. D 526 

Falk, Charles E 1235 

Falk, Curtis O., M. D 417 

Falk, Elijah H 339 

Falk, William S 1198 

Falor, Mrs. Arrabelle H 788 

Falor, Frank E 1126 

Farley, James M 337 

Fasoletti, Peter 1119 

Fay, Charles S 748 

Fearrien, Albert L 1274 

Felt, Rae, M. D 1137 

Felt, Theodore D 214 

Ferguson, James 618 

Ferndale Bank 640 

Ferrara, Giuseppe - 742 

Ferrara, Peter E 1040 

First National Bank of Areata 308 

Fisher, Adolph, Sr 1248 

Fitzell, Joseph A 684 

Fitzgerald, Edward L 920 

Fleckenstein, George 1 165 

Fleckenstien, Frank J 1251 

Flint, Benjamin F 1088 

Flocchini, Celeste 1091 

Flocchini, Giacomo 1050 

Forbes, Edward S 874 

Foster, Ambrose N 778 

Francisconi, Felice 208 

Frank, Seth A 417 

Franzen, Andrew P. H 1216 

Eraser, James T 601 

Fredrickson, Thorwald and Wm. H...1189 

Freeman Art 690 

French, Dick K 897 

French, James E 885 

French, Orel B 1206 

Fritz, A. L 634 

Frost, Eln;.er J 201 

G 

Gallacci, Alessio 1107 

Gallia, Andrew 1113 

Gamboni Brothers 1 105 

Gasser, Dr. Anna B 323 

Gates, Oscar J 1283 

Gatliff & Thompson 872 

Genzoli, Bernardino 1 106 

Georgeson, Franklin T 456 

Georgeson, Hon. Frederick W 282 

Georgeson, George R 727 

Gift. John H 1135 

Giulieri, Charles C ;.. 980 

Giulieri, Fred M 1159 

Giulieri. Stephen _ 803 

Giuntoli, Santi 1213 

Gleeson, Rev. J. J 1208 

Goble, Saint L 1204 

Godfrey, Mrs. Lydia M 1001 

Goff, Charles F 982 

Gof¥, Joseph B 501 



Gondola, Napoleon 1 187 

Graeter, Luther D 1266 

Graham, Edwin 599 

Graham, Frank 199 

Graham, William M 1191 

Grandy, Henry 1188 

Gratto, George M 914 

Gray, George H 391 

Grazioli, Paul 1069 

Green, Richard A 359 

Gries, Harry A 1087 

Groom, Thomas A 1275 

Gross, Harold G., M. D 281 

Gross, Martin 1258 

Gross, Reuben, M. D 189 

Grothe, Leopold F 876 

Grundt, Niels P. A 1039 

Guglielmina, Fedele 810 

Gustafson, Augustus 560 

Gyselaar, Mrs. Rose C 765 

H 

Hackett, William 864 

Hadley, James A., M. D 309 

Hkdley, Warren L 681 

Haight, Edwin W ....: 805 

Hale, James W 1255 

Hallaran, Daniel 579 

Haltinner, John U 294 

Hamilton, Herbert W 721 

Hamilton, John and Hugh 947 

Hamilton, John W 1139 

Hansen, Amos 1029 

Hansen, Carl F 948 

Hansen, Mads P 689 

Hansen, Niels J 981 

Harbers, Henry F 786 

Harpst, Charles 1 507 

Harpst, John 550 

Harrington, Fred A 726 

Harris, Robert L 936 

Harris, Valentine F 1117 

Harris, Zaccheus M 1197 

Hauck, Nathan 383 

Haugh, Martin 1174 

Havens, William C 1228 

Haw, William H 1234 

Hellard, John H 804 

Hellard, W. H 804 

Helmke, Frederick M 792 

Helms, John F 870 

Helwig, Charles E 358 

Henderson, James W 739 

Henry. Hiram 754 

Henry, Robert 335 

Herrick, Frank E 1284 

Herrick. Martha J 193 

Herrick, Hon. Rufus F 187 

Hill, Hon. Arthur W 207 

Hill, Clarence E 1278 

Hill, Earl W., M. D 1175 

Hill, George R 677 

Hill, James B 513 

Hill, John B : 427 

Hiller, George 1233 

Hindi, Thomas 225 



XII 



INDEX 



Hinckley, Fred G 1218 

Hinman, Harry T 270 

Hitchings, Charles W 182 

Hitchings, Henry B 650 

Hodgson, Joseph E 442 

Hoffman, John 994 

Holm, Frederick H 753 

Hooper, Obadiah C 993 

Hope, Victor 605 

Horel, Francis R., J\I. D 376 

Hoskins. G., M. D 393 

Hotchkiss, Luther L 559 

Hough, Frank A 436 

Hufford, Frank L 1147 

Hufford, George W 260 

Humboldt Brewing Company 573 

Humboldt Cooperage Company 455 

Humboldt Standard 1178 

Hunt, Albert N 319 

Hunter, Elias 807 

Hunter, Ellis 515 

Hunter, George W 814 

Hunter, James H 254 

Hunter, John H 1246 

Hunter, Walker S 814 

Hunter, William J ....1278 

Hurlbutt, Harry E 546 

I 

Inman, Edwin J 1034 

Inskip, Prof. P. S 414 

International Correspondence School 656 

J 

Jackson, Harry W 304 

Jacobs, Frank B 396 

Jacobson, John R 799 

Jeans, Harry C 1156 

Jensen, Christian N 458 

Jensen, Capt. Peter 1006 

Johansen, Peter 793 

Johanson, Alexander 749 

Johnson, Hon. Darlington J 266 

Johnson, Capt. John E 535 

Johnson, John E 1245 

Johnson J. L 1027 

Johnson, Tosaldo 1031 

Johnson, William E 1008 

Johnston, Charles A 370 

Johnston. Robert 666 

Jones, William J 918 

Jordan, John H 1227 

Jorgensen, Sophus N 555 

K 

Kane, John E 819 

Karlsen, Oluf 783 

Kay. Fred M 836 

Keating, Patrick 645 

Kees, Jacob M 696 

Keesey, Bert Q 968 

Kehoc, Frank L 902 

Kehoe, Hon. William 579 



Kellogg, George A 718 

Kemp, John W 709 

Kendal, Henry A 381 

Kennedy, Rev. Lawrence 1084 

King, William W 430 

Kingsbury, Lewis B 1244 

Kinsey, Charles H 822 

Kinsey, Louis T 231 

Kjer, Axcel 1252 

Kjer, Mads 1253 

Klepper, Loren M 653 

Knapp, Gilman C 428 

Knight, George A 585 

Knudsen, Oscar L 1038 

Kramer, Edward G 1240 

Krohn, J. J 455 

L 

Lamb, Alexander 930 

Lambert, Jules A 1217 

Lane, Jefferson R 570 

Lane, John A., M. D 623 

Langford Brothers 646 

Lanini, Rafael 1185 

Larsen, Abraham 1259 

Larsen, John 978 

Larsen, Martin 385 

Larson, Charles A 521 

Larson, Lewis 1024 

Laughlin, Frank 1239 

Leach, Fred A 392 

Leaver, James M. 1052 

Lentell, Jesse N 326 

Leonardi, Zacharias 1118 

Lewis, Artemus H 893 

Lewis. Edward L 660 

Light, Edwin A 1042 

Light, William 873 

Lind, John E 1186 

Lindley, George C 485 

Lindow, William E 1281 

Linser, Ernest R 907 

Loewenthal, Jacob ^ 616 

Logan, John W 916 

Lord, William 557 

Lorentzen, L. C 1223 

Lowrey, Charles 1214 

Lucas, Monte 1264 

Lucas, William 997 

Lundberg, Albert 1121 

Luther, Christopher 183 

Luther, Frank W 242 

Lyster, John S 1020 

M 

McCann, Willard 178 

McClellan, Hugh W 321 

McClellan, Hon. John W 452 

McCloskey, Alexander G 838 

McConnaha, Burr P 704 

McConnaha, Clarence J 1270 

McCready, James 511 

McCready, John 259 

^VfcDade, Williaiii P 561 

^IcDaniel, Lewis L 957 



. INDEX 



X 1 1 1 



McDonald, James 1146 

McGeorge, John F 184 

McGowan, Daniel W 1127 

Mcintosh, Robert 1064 

McKeehan, C. G 1273 

McKeon, Redmond 860 

McKinnon, George W., M. D 970 

McNamara. William J 418 

McNeil, Hon. B. H 1053 

Macinata, John 1101 

Mackey, Patrick 479 

Maffia, Carlo 989 

Mahan, James 461 

Mahan, William J 910 

Marks, Harry A 248 

Marshall, Benjamin M., M. D 624 

Marshall, James E 891 

Matheson, Daniel 336 

Mathews, James E 1069 

Matson, Isaac 744 

Meakin, Willis B 898 

Melde, Henry 324 

Meller, George F 1122 

Mercer, Harrison M 637 

Mercer-Fraser Company, Inc 420 

Merriam, Joseph E 551 

Michel, William E 638 

Miller, Sherman A 1062 

Miner, Cyrus 826 

Miner, George H 307 

Miner, Jacob 825 

Minor, Isaac 314 

Minor, Isaac N 797 

Monette, Theodore 1289 

Monroe, Alonzo J 340 

Monroe, John C 1043 

Moore, Frederick J 1193 

Moore, George M 533 

Moranda, Bartol 849 

Moranda, Joseph 506 

Moranda, Pancragio 986 

Morgan, Laurence C 1209 

Morgan, Thomas H. A 425 

Morrell, Frank E 923 

Morris, David W 919 

Morrison, Silas V 351 

Moschetti, Louis B 1124 

Mossi, Chris 938 

Mossi, Joseph , 1113 

Mossi, Peter 938 

Moxon, Isaac 1071 

Mozzini, Mrs. Antonietta 379 

Mozzini. Martin F 1122 

Mullen, John P 987 

Mullen, William H 1003 

Murdock, Charles A 411 

Murphy, David 881 

Murray, George D 196 

Murray, J. S 301 

Myers, U. S. Grant 901 

N 

Nazareth Academy 832 

Needs, Philip 651 

Neighbor, James E 1097 

Nelson, Andrew P 1237 



Nelson, Hon. Hans C 782 

Nelson, Hector A 688 

Newman, John J 909 

Niebur, James J 666 

Nielsen, Hagbarth 1095 

Nilsen, Nicholas J 571 

Nilsen, Oscar 574 

Nissen, Jeff P 1005 

Noe. Albert C 419 

Noe, Ulysses J 1287 

Nordquist, Eli A 1287 

Norton, Charles T 1211 

o 

O'Neill, John 365 

Olmstead, William T 1142 

Olsen, Louis H 1176 

Olson, Edward W 1164 

Ottmer, Florence H., M. D 310 

Owsley, "George W 287 

P 

Palmer, Newell ^I 1272 

Parsons, Richard M 760 

Parton, Peter 489 

Pass, William W 1115 

Patmore, George 1237 

Patmore, George W 827 

Patrick, Marshall.. 673 

Patton, Albert L 695 

Patton, Walter W 711 

Peacock, Dillon D 722 

Peacock, Wilford E 541 

Pedrazzini, Martin 1 186 

Pedrotti, Celso 984 

Pedrotti, Elvezio.. 988 

Pedrotti. Horace 992 

Pedrotti, Victor 995 

Peebles, David D 1081 

Pelascini, Antone 939 

Pepin, Archie "A 1247 

Peracca, Emilio ...1230 

Permenter, J. 1062 

Perrott, George W 1022 

Perry, Harry A 574 

Perry, Thos. H 800 

Perry, William 697 

Persons, Louis 847 

Peters, Frank 643 

Peters, John 662 

Petersen, Andreas E 497 

Petersen, Edward B 791 

Petersen, Martin P 787 

Petersen, Peter 854 

Petersen, Peter E 1207 

Petersen, Peter N. J 931 

Pettersen, C. M 263 

Pettingill, Edward F 785 

Phillips, Jeptha C 472 

Pifferini, Claudio 940 

Piini, Cipriano 1110 

Pinkerton, George 1200 

Pinkham, W^ilter H 1 125 

Piola, Samuel 941 

Plitsch, John •. 649 



,X 1 A- 



INDEX , 



Poinsett, Mrs. Flora B 481 

Poland. Henry A 251 

Pontoni, Martin L 941 

Port Kenyon School District 403 

Porter, Benjamin F 784 

Porter, Evert A 1154 

Porter, Robert 610 

Power, Thomas W 1045 

Poyfaire, L. B 960 

Press, Whiting G 366 

Preston, Frederick J 1131 

Price, Edmund V 429 

Price, George A 828 

Puter, Lawrence F 1141 



Q 



Quill, Jerry 652 

Quinn, Hon. John F 250 

Quinn, Patrick 341 

Quinn, William J., M. D ! 866 



R 



Ramos, Joseph C 1178 

Ramsey, David M 821 

Rann, Frank A 1288 

Rasmussen, Claus N 1120 

Rasmussen, Jacob 522 

Rasmussen, Louis 863 

Rassaert, Oscar 964 

Ratti, Peter 375 

Rava, Anton 1184 

Reaves, Calvin H 755 

Redmond, Robert A 850 

Reinhard, Fred 413 

Reynolds, George F 1250 

Reynolds, George W 1250 

Rezzonico, Flvizio 1192 

Ribeiro, Francisco 1 183 

Richmond, William A 1225 

Ricks, Hiram L , 1150 

Ricks, Casper S 232 

Rickter. Gust 1074 

Riley, Willard J 1 166 

Ring, Hogan J., M. D 398 

Robarts, Robert W 1161 

Roberts, Charles A 495 

Roberts, Charles F 958 

Roberts, Hon. Melvin P 238 

Robertson, Jonathan F 761 

Robertson, Leonard A 1271 

Robinson, Alba G 1268 

Robinson, Hitie 967 

Robinson, John S 595 

Robinson, William A 674 

Robinson, William S 654 

Rodney Burns Redwood Novelty Co.. 1004 

Rodoni, Michael 894 

Rogers, Edward J 329 

Rolandelli, John C 1211 

Ross, Arthur A 979 

Ross, James 539 

Rossier, Louis P., M. D 486 

Russ, Joseph 998 

Russ, Hon. .Joseph 442 



Russ, Ruel 991 

Ryan, John W 882 

Ryan, Hon. Pierce H 280 

S 

St Bernard's Catholic Church 1084 

Sacchi, Charles E ,-, 945 

Sams, George - --^- ^}j^ 

Santi, Ben "-=-E,n 

Saottini. John ;^4Q 

Sawyer, Jackson 121- 

Scalvini, George and Antonio 1184 

Scalvini, John and Rocco 1114 

Schroder, Christian 753 

Scott, D. Clinton 228 

Scott, George M 1U6S 

Scuri, John ll^J 

Seely, Henry S ']^;^ 

Seely, John S., Sr 468 

Sefifens, Charles W 699 

Selvage, Hon. Thomas H 1262 

Sevier, Denver 1096 

Shedden, George S 872 

Shelbourn, Matthew 583 

Shields, William L 939 

Sibley. Luther W 1134 

Silkwood. Samuel S 440 

Silva. John P 1155 

Simpson. John M l'^>'_i 

Skinner. Robert W 247 

Smith. Charles R 737 

Smith, Capt. Henry 545 

Smith, Mrs. Joseph E. H 1090 

Smith, Lew V 712 

Smith, William E 875 

Smythe, Fred W^ 1080 

Snodgrass, Benjamin A 1133 

Soule, Charles P 407 

Sowash, D. H 852 

Speegle, William N 1127 

Stephens. Rev. Thomas H 1021 

Stern, B. F 437 

Stewart, Hugh B 1223 

Still. James H 1086 

Still. Mrs. Susan 567 

Stockcl, Joseph 815 

Stockhoff, Ulysses S - 935 

Stone, Lewis J 683 

Stouder, Fred 1157 

Strand, Gustave A 655 

Sullivan. Edward T 1285 

Sullivan, Eugene 1050 

Sutherland, Alexander R 1196 

Swanson, Oliver 750 

Sweasey, Frank R 288 

Sweasey, Richard 731 

Sweasey, Thomas W 527 

Sweet. George W 530 

T 

Tamboury. Jack B 1245 

Tanferani. Egidio 325 

Teel, David W 1036 

Thogersen, Niels 1 160 



INDEX 



xv 



Tliompson, Cornelius 1051 

Tliompson, Craig R 694 

Tliompson, James F 1012 

Thompson, Robert 1059 

Thomson, Ira B 221 

Timmons, James W 1193 

Tobin, Thomas M 1011 

Tomasini, Battiste 1065 

Tonini, Ferdinando M 1175 

Toroni, Bert H 1116 

Travis, J. A 1028 

Trigg, John 401 

Tristao, J. M 1104 

Turner, Daniel J 10/7 

Turner. Jasper N 1219 

Turner, William J 926 

Tuttle, Frederick A 1264 

Tuttle, Lucius C 1014 



U 



Underwood George 330 

Underwood, James 667 



V 



Vance, John 1167 

Vance, John M 181 

Vance, Thomas 633 

Vandusen, Frank L 1114 

Van Duzen, Albert, Jr 600 



W 



VValdn 
V V.IX-'Waldn 
A^^TWalke 



Waddington, Miu'tin T 278 

Waldner, Andrew S 447 

er. Gustav A 451 

r, Charles W 474 

Walker, George 470 

Walker, Jesse 462 

Walker, Joseph M 858 

Wallace, William H., M. D 1145 

War, William H 1002 

Ward, William H 1242 



Warner, Matt L 959 

Warth, Samuel 1085 

Wasmuth, W. E 732 

Watson, George W 529 

Way, Henry 380 

Weaver, Hon. John H. G 286 

Weber, Christopher J 1256 

Week, Frank A 453 

Weiss, Joseph J 525 

Werner, Robert L 656 

Wescott, Charles 932 

West, Wilbur P 1260 

White, Albert W 1242 

Widnes, Carl W 913 

Williams, Frank G 763 

Williams, Hon. George 615 

Williams, George W 942 

Williams, James H 521 

Wood, Charles W 1254 

Wood, Lewis K 887 

Wood, Wilson 972 

Woodcock, George F 1025 

Worthington, James F 985 

Woten, Claude S 354 

Wright, Charles H 177 

Wrigley, George E 1149 

Wrigley, Winfield J 1152 

Wyatt, John A. T 671 

Wynn, Clark M 1199 

Y 

Yermini, Mrs. Teresa 1123 

Young, George R 999 

Young, James A., M. D 1269 

z 

Zana, Antone 1009 

Zanone, Domingo 205 

Zanone, Domingo A 206 

Zanotti, John B 990 

Zehndner, Edward A 1188 

Zehndner, George- 213 

Zehndner, John Jacob 219 



HISTORICAL 

CHAPTER I. 
The Origin of the Name California 

Almost everybody knows that the discussion concerning the name California 
waxed warm for a number of years. Norton, the author of a recent book on 
California, tells us it is interesting to note that most school children are familiar 
with the discussion which has heretofore taken place as to the origin of the name. 
He says many people are familiar with its alleged formation from two Spanish 
or Latin words meaning a Jwt furnace; but unfortunately for the theory that this 
is the true derivation, it must be remembered that to the early Spaniards who 
first used the name in connection with the country, California was not a hot 
country, but in comparison with those through which they had to come to reach 
it, a cold one. The name first appeared in the written record as applied to 
Lower (Baja) California in Preciado's diary of Ulloa's trip down the coast of 
that peninsula in 1539. But it is used there as if it were already in common use. 
And it is probable that it was first given to the country by Cortes or some of his 
followers either at Santa Cruz or La Paz between 1535 and 1537. 

In his History of the Nezu California the author of the present work (Leigh 
H. Irvine) discusses the origin of the name somewhat at length. He says that 
Prof. Josiah Royce, of Harvard, Winfield Davis, and other historians, now 
accept Edward Everett Hale's conclusion that the name California was derived 
from an old romance and applied by Cortes to the peninsula he discovered in 1535. 

Mr. Hale made his investigations in the year 1862, while reading the old 
romance entitled "Sergas de Esplandian," by Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo, the 
translator of Amidas. In this connection it is worth while to give some of the 
statements of the eminent Dr. Hale, for there have been a number of theories 
as to the origin of the name. He says : "Coming to the reference in this forgotten 
romance to the Island of California, very near to the Terrestrial Paradise, I saw 
at once that here was the origin of the name of the state of California, long 
sought for by the antiquaries of that state, but long forgotten, for the romance 
seems to have been published in 1510 — the edition of 1521 is now in existence — 
while our California, even the peninsula of that name, was not discovered by 
the Spaniards until 1526, and was not named California until 1535." 

Not long after this discovery Mr. Hale invited the American Antiquarian 
Society to examine the evidence, and in March, 1864, he translated for the 
Atlantic Monthly all the parts of the story that relate to the Queen of California 
(Califia), and in 1873 he published a small volume on the subject, in which he 
said : 

"The name California was given by Cortes, who discovered the peninsula 
in 1535. For the statement that he named it we have the authority of Herrera, 
It is proved, I think, that the expedition of Mendoza, in 1532, did not see Cali- 
fornia ; it is certain that they gave it no name. Humboldt saw, in the archives 
of Mexico, a statement in manuscript that it was discovered in 1526, but for this 
there is no other authority. 



18 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

"It is certain that the name did not appear until 1535. No etymology of 
this name has been presented that is satisfactory to the historian. Venegas, the 
Jesuit historian of California, writing in 1758, sums up the matter in these words: 
'The most ancient name is California, used by Bernal Diaz, limited to a smgle 
bay. I could wish to gratify the reader by the etymology of the word, but 
no etymology of the name has been presented that is satisfactory. In none of 
the dialects of the various natives could the missionaries find the least trace 
of such a name being given by them to the country, or even to any harbor, bay, 
or small part of it. Nor can I subscribe to the etymology of some writers, who 
supposed the name to have been given to it by the Spaniards because of their 
feeling an unusual heat at their first landing here; but they thence called the 
country California, compounding the two Latin words califa and fornax, a hot 
furnace. I believe few will think the adventurers could boast of so much 
literature.' Clavigero, in his history of Cahfornia, after giving this etymology, 
offers as an alternative the following as the opinion of the learned Jesuit Giuseppe 
Compoi: He believes that the name is com.posed of the Spanish word cala, 
which means 'a little cove of the sea,' and the Latin fornix, which means 'the 
vault of a building.' He thinks these words are thus applied, because, within 
Cape St. Lucas there is a little cove of the sea, towards the western part of 
which rises a rock, so torn out that on the upper part of the hollow is seen a 
vault, as perfect as if made by art. Cortes, therefore, observing this cala or 
cove and this vault, probably called this port California or Cala fornix — speaking 
half in Spanish, and half in Latin. Clavigero suggests as an improvement on 
this somewhat wild etymology that Cortes may have said Cala Fornax, meaning 
cove furnace, speaking as in the Jesuit's suggestion, in two languages." 

Towards the close of this romance of the Sergas de Esplandian the various 
Christian knights assemble to defend the Emperor of the Greeks and the city 
of Constantinople against the attack of the Turks and Infidels. In the romance 
the name appears with precisely our spelling in the following passage : 

"Sergas Chapter 157: 'Know that, on the right hand of the Indies there 
is an island called California very near to the Terrestrial Paradise, which was 
peopled with black women, without any men among them, because they were 
accustomed to live after the fashion of Amazons. They were of strong and 
hardened bodies, of ardent courage, and of great force. The island was the 
strongest in the world, from its steep rocks and great cliffs. Their arms were 
all of gold; and so were the caparisons of the wild beasts which they rode, after 
having tamed them ; for in all the Island there is no other metal. They lived in 
caves very well worked out ; they had many ships, in which they sailed to other 
parts to carry on their forays." 

The name appears in several distinct passages in the book. Mr. Hale 
adds : "This romance, as I have said, is believed to have been printed first in 
1510. No copies of this edition, however, are extant. But of the edition of 
1519 a copy is preserved; and there are copies of successive editions of 1521, 1525 
and 1526, in which last year two editions were published — one at Seville and the 
other at Burgos. All of these are Spanish. It follows, almost certainly, that 
Cortes and his followers, in 1535, must have been acquainted with the romance; 
and after they sailed up the west side of Mexico, they supposed they were 
precisely at the place indicated, 'on the right hand of the Indies.' It will be 
remembered, also, that by sailing in the same direction, Columbus, in his letters 
to the sovereigns, says : 'He shall be sailing towards the Terrestrial Paradise.' 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 19 

We need not suppose that Cortes believed the romance more than we do ; though 
we do assert that he borrowed a name from it to indicate the peninsula which 
he found 'on the right side of the Indies, near to the Terrestrial paradise.' * * * 
In ascribing to the Esplandian the origin of the name California, I know that 
I furnished no etymology for that word. I have not found the word in any 
earlier romances. I will only suggest that the word Calif, the Spanish spelling 
for the sovereign of the Mussulman power of the time, was in the mind of the 
author as he invented these Amazon allies of the Infidel power." 

It will be seen that there have been many discussions on the subject, and 
whether true or false the little romance is now accepted as the most likely explana- 
tion of the origin of the word. 



CHAPTER 11. 
The North Was Slow to Be Discovered 

It should be borne in mind that the vaguest imaginable knowledge of the 
Humboldt country existed until within a few years of the beginning of the War 
of the Rebellion. A. J. Bledsoe tells us, in his Indian Wars of the Northwest, 
that as late as the year 1850 a coastline of seven hundred miles between Fort 
Ross and the mouth of the Columbia river was practically unknown to the world, 
except in a vague way. Topographical knowledge and information concerning 
climate and resOltrces were almost nil. Even the most prominent headlines of 
the very rugged coast were without accurate designations, for marine charts were 
little more than guesses. The designated points had been uniTormly named 
merely aTfigfiboards' f or the instruction of seafaring men. The shores were 
deemed thunderous and inapproachable. In an area of more than seven hundred 
miles of shore line there was not even one white settler. Indians and wild 
beasts were the sole tenants of the land. As a result, the entire field was one 
of open adventure, and it naturally drew a large and sturdy class of people. A 
minmg"" population, consisting of a good many hundreds, already existed in 
Trinity and Siskiyou counties, but it was dependent on slow and interior routes 
of transportation, the sea being entirely useless for navigation by reason of the 
ignorance of the navigators concerning places for ports and suitable roadsteads 
for making connection with the land. 

Bledsoe tells the story graphically as follows, on page 107 of his work: "It 
was believed that a coast route by water would make a diversion of this trade 
by land. San Francisco, of course, was to be the starting point for enterprises 
of this kind, and of the required capital to conduct them. Each of the several 
expeditions by sea sent out from San Francisco in the winter of 1849 and 1850 
had for its leading inducement the hope of discovering coastwise communication 
^th the mines in the mountains by someTmngalDTe^^TiTamT^nHT^r h apsofTdtrrtd- 
ing~lTe-w"--ctttesHtot-'HtTmiM~Thefeaf^^ 
rinToT^AmBricarTTerritory. 

~ "" ^hion g "tHe^first expeditions for the exploration by sea of the Northern 
coast was one made under the auspices of The Laura Virginia Association. The 
association was organized with two boards~oftrusIees7~one to reside' in San 
Francisco, one to go with the expedition. 

"The trustees residing in San Francisco were CapL— Jose2h_i._J!QlsQiTi, 
U. S. A., president ; -Charles B. Young, secretary; C. B. Gallagher, and a Mr. 



20 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Simmons, whose first name is not known. The trustees accompanying the expedi- 
tion were E. H. Howard, president ; W,_I1 Havens and Robert T. Lamott. The 
membe rs of Jh^'Association^-but recently -a:F^f4ved-from-tfe& East and elsewhere, 
were adventurous in spirit and bold in enterprise, and they projected a voyage 
of general discovery, having special reference to the selection of some harbor 
as a depot for the distribution of merchandise to the mining districts of Northern 
California. The mines of the Trinity and the Klamath, far up those streams, 
were even then famous for their real and reputed wealth. They were isolated, 
and hemmed in by stupendous mountain chains. To reach them by way of the 
Sacramento valley and Shasta was to endure the perils and suffering of a long 
journey to an unsettled country. As yet no road had been blazed through the 
forest to the sea, nor had the Gregg party made known the results of theic 
voyage of exploration. The Trinity was supposed to empty directly into the 
sea, as the Klamath did, ag id the mou ths__Q£ nejthe^ had been located. Situated 
in the basin of the Trinity, ninety miles from the sea, was the mining camp of 

-\¥_eav£rville, and still a little farther north and east were other regions rich in 
mineral wealth. 

"To these remote localities the transportation of supplies was chiefly carried 
on by \vay^of^ed Bluff, the outlying settlement of the Sacramento Valley, and 
thence by pack mules over a succession of rugged mountains that swarmed with. 

4aojtile_Indians. To divert the extensive trade of that part of the state into 

a more economical_j:haimeI,_and.toiii5£5^^^J' ^ landing place from the sea, was 
the primary (o bject of the Laura Virginia? Association. An ocean -voyagCj^ 
prompted in some degree by love of adventure, but more by love of gokl, was 
to be the first visible effort of the Association to win renown." 

The Laura Virginia was a seaworthy boat that had been built in Baltimore, 
a sturdy craft of oneSiundred and twenty tons burden. She then lay in San 
Francisco bay, where she was promptly chartered and made ready for her voyage 
to the North. The Association took its name from the ship. 

Lieutenant Douglass Ottinger, of the United States Revenue Cutter Frolic, 
then on leave of absence, was induced to command the vessel. The expedition was 
off for its adventure late in March, 1850, the exact date being still in dispute. 
There were fifty passengers and the ship carried food for a fifty-day voyage. 
The party found no break in the coast line anywhere between San Francisco 
and Cape Mendocino. The voyage north of the Cape brought revelations of 
rugged mountains, with a sweeping curve to the northward. 

It is interesting to recall the fact that Lieutenant Ottinger beheld the mouth 
of the Eel river, and anchored two miles off the bar. It is said that the next day 
three other vessels anchored not far away and a boat from the General Morgan 
crossed the bar and entered the river. The success of the Morgan's little boat 
emboldened Lieutenant Ottinger to launch two of the Laura Virginia's boats for 
the same purpose. He commanded one, Albert Swain the other. 

Swain's boat was soon capsized in a heavy swell, whereupon Ottinger returned 
to the ship and told H. H. Buhne, the second officer, just what had occurred, 
and dispatched him to hasten with a crew to the aid of the capsized boat, to which 
the men were still clinging and struggling desperately for their lives. Incidentally, 
this same Buhne was the founder of the prominent Buhne family of Eureka 
and Humboldt county, business and social leaders of today. The intrepid second 
officer saved four of the five men, but J. S. Rowen was lost. Those saved were 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 21 

L. M. Burson, N. Duperu, and Albert Swain, and a man of the name Bell, 
the latter's given or Christian name having been lost to history. 

Ottinger was discouraged, after which he soon headed his vessel to the 
North and gave up all hope of exploring Eel river. He saw the waters of the 
bay also, but could not discover any entrance thereto. It is believed that the 
heavy breakers on both the Northern and Southern spits had completely hid the 
channel from the view of the Laura Virginia party. 

Sailing toward Trinidad and a point fifty miles farther north, Ottinger soon 
found himself in the roadstead about where Crescent City is now located. He 
found a vessel called the Cameo at anclior, and another, the Paragon, stranded 
on the beacli. Dispatching a boat toward the shore, he learned that several 
little boats had been capsized while trying to make a landing several days before, 
and three or four persons had lost their lives.' Searching the beach revealed 
the lifeless body of one member of the unfortunate party. Lieutenant R. Bache, 
who had been attached to the United States coast survey for several years. A 
funeral was at once arranged, and Lieutenant Ottinger read the ritual service 
of the Protestant Episcopal Chvnxh, burying his comrade in a plain wooden 
coffin. After a few days the lieutenant decided that he should make down the 
coast toward Trinidad. His crew noticed a fresh body of water making out 
from the land, and the lieutenant dispatched second officer Buhne to sound the 
bar, taking a small boat, but gave positive instructions that there should be no 
attempt to cross, owing to the great danger of loss of life. It was during this 
voyage that Buhne discovered the mouth of the Klamath river. 

E. H. Howard, H. W. Havens, Samuel B. Tucker, Robert Lamott, S. W. t 1_. "^ 
Shaw and a Mr. Peebles were dispatched to explore on foot the coast line south 
to the bay and find out just what the country looked like, their points of view « ' 

having been obtained from sighting while aboard the ship. After about four 
hours' marching the party came to the crossing of the Mad river, whose southern 
bank they saw was lined with canoes drawn up on dry land. In the background 
they saw a number of Indian inhabitants and heard yells ringing out from the 
rancheria when the white men appeared on the opposite shore. 

A large number of excited natives came thronging to the water's edge. 
Women, commonly called squaws, with their papooses, scampered from their 
lodgings, and the warriors, who were very numerous, grasped their bows and 
arrows and assembled for a pow-wow on the bank. In the absence of the ability 
of either party to make the other understand it by spoken language, it was 
decided to resort to pantomimes or the old sign language. The white adven- 
turers soon gave the Indians to understand that no harm was meant, their 
desire being merely ta cr o s s^the rancheria and see what the country below looked v 
like. The natives were much surprised at the appearance of the white men and 
their clothing, and great expressions of wonder marked the occasion. 

For a long time the Indians refused to take the six white men across the 
river at one time in their canoes. They made known, however, that they desired 
them to go one at a time. This brought the white men to a puzzling problem, 
for they feared that to go one at a time might be to expose the first man to 
treachery and possibly to death by torture. After much parleying, however, the 
Indians reluctantly consented to do as the white men had requested. When the 
whites had crossed they were soon surrounded by men, women and children 
who looked closely at them, rubbed their clothing, and touched their bodies 



22 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

as much as to feel and ascertain whether they were looking upon the spirits 
of dead men returned to earth, or upon actual living creatures. 

A . surveyor's compass was here ingeniously used by the white men to 
impress the natives with the fact that the whites were a race possessing a strange 
amount of power. They sought to make the Indians believe that even six white 
men could besiege hundreds of Indians in battle, this by reason of supernatural 
powers and devices such as the little compass. 

Bledsoe describes this interview entertainingly as follows : 

"The compass is placed on the ground, and as the needle trembles and 
flutters on its pivot the Indians watch it with increasing w^onder. The white 
medicine man takes his knife and moves the blade slowly around the disk of the 
compass. Slowly, with quivering stops like warning fingers pointing at individual 
braves, the needle follows the knife blade around the circle. Filled with a profound 
feeling of awe, the warriors see the knife withdrawn and the needle settled to 
its quiet rest. 

"The white medicine man lifted the instrument to his ear, as if com- 
municating with the Great Spirit. The Indians themselves draw nearer, eager 
to catch a stray whisper from the unseen world, although it be in an unknown 
tongue. The medicine man withdraws the instrument and gravely endeavors 
to make them understand that all their secret thoughts and purposes are 
revealed to him through its agency. The ruse is successful. The untutored mind 
of the savage, deriving from all nature continual additions to his superstitious 
lore, sees in the little mechanical instrument a revelation of wisdom and power. 

"He regards the whites with an awe which is not unmixed with reverence." 

Although one experiment might have been enough to keep the Indians from 
attacking the whites, it was believed advisable to give the Reds a few further 
exhibitions of the prowess of the whites, therefore a target was put up, and 
bullet after bullet was shot into it at a distance of about sixty yards. A flock 
of geese was seen flying over the company, and one of the best shots in the 
party directed his fowling piece toward the flying birds and brought one fluttering 
to the ground. 

The Indians had become thoroughly convinced of the supernatural attributes 
of the whites, and showed no evidence whatever that they were the least bit 
hostile towards the visitors. 

When the white men started south they were followed along the beach 
by a number of Indians, who eagerly watched them to see what would become 
of them, and they seemed to be so much excited over the disappearance of 
the whites that it was believed for a time that the Red men expected to see 
their visitors depart into the sky. \' 

Late that afternoon the white men beheld the entrance to the bay. On 
the next day the adventurers anchored in the harbor and the ship's boat was 
sent to take the party on board. On the 9th day of April, 1850, second officer 
Buhne, who possessed all of the brave qualifications necessary to leadership, was 
appointed to command the boat and make an effort to cross the bar and brino- 
the ship within the bay. It is well known that he was a good sailor and accustomed 
to the hardships of the sea, also that he was a man of great common sense. 
His selection as the leader to pioneer the boat over the bar was a wise and 
judicious proceeding. His feat is thus described by Bledsoe: 

"Between ten and eleven o'clock on the morning of the 9th of April the 
boat was launched, and Buhne with William Broderson, James Baker, an En^rlish- 



h 



/' 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 23 

m ^ named jP alnie r, and one other man, whose name has been lost to history, 
for his crew, started across the bar. Skillful seamanship carried the boat into 
the harbor. The cre.w. Janded at a point opposite the entrance, for many years 
known as Humboldt po^nt, and now called Buhne's point, where they remained 
until one o'clock in the afternoon, when, taking advantage of high water, the 
boat was headed for the sea. ■ Buhne made soundings on the bar and found four 
and one-half fathoms of water in a well defined channel. Going on board the 
Q ship he reported to Lieutenant Ottinger what he had seen and done, and it was 
decided that another trip should be made on the same day, this time with two 
boats loaded with passengers, tents, provisions, etc. The two boats, Buhne 
commanding the one in advance, then crossed the bar and landed on the north 
beach at half past seven o'clock. On the next morning the whole party went 
across to the point and pitched their tents. ,^ 
'ff^ "Here they all remained for three day^s^^ On the twelfth a vessel was seen 
off the bar, and Buhne with his boat's crew went out to her, supposing that she 
was the Laura Virginia. It was not that vessel, but was the Whiting, sailing toward 
Eel river, and eager to be the first vessel to enter that stream. The captain of 
L~2 ;^ the Whiting, like the officers of a rival vessel, the J. M. Ryerson, believed that 
y^.^n this river was the Trinity, and if they had observed the basin to the north with 
jjJ^ 94iy interest, it was gnly indicative to them of a shallow lagoon or basin. It was 
-s i" ^(< Jiite in the afterno^nT and Buhne and his crew boarded the Whiting, remaining 

# -f 0^^'''^ jj^^Lphcre all night. They were reticent of their own previous movements. It would 
£^,iJf^ dfiAMot do for them to relate where they had been or what was their success. The 
members of every expedition then exploring the coast considered themselves 
morally bound to keep a profound secret of any discovery or location made by 
them. Precisely why this was so cannot be easily accounted for at the present 
day. A lively imagination can indeed surmise various reasons for secrecy. Each 
expedition was animated by a more or less envious jealousy of every other 
expedition, and every commander of a vessel was firmly convinced that the 
'I honor of first sailing into a bay or river ought to belong to him." 
''* ^ Further along in his account of this interesting adventure, Bledsoe says : 

"Wishing to come up with his own vessel as soon as he could, Buhne parted ^^ 





^f/company with the Whitmg and proceeded north m the small boat. In the after- 
noon the Laura Virginia came down from the north, took Buhne and his crew 
on board, and stood off to sea during the night. The tide and wind being favor- 



1^^ (P^ and guided the Laura Virginia into the bay, where she anchored near the point 



^ fj^ able" at noon of the next day, April 14, 1850, second officer Buhne took the wheel 



"i^ 



on which the tents of the passengers were plainly visible. 



X\ "Cl / "The fourteenth of April was a proud day for the Laura A^irginia Associa- 

/^ yr ^j'ti^^n. Captain Ottinger and every one of the officers and members of the expedi- 

^A'y ^\\if'^ ,i^(^\i. felt highly elated because of the success which had attended their voyage. 

1^^ .■:VlnV'What grand castles they built in the air is not for our generation to know; and 

yrT LJy/v-. 4t ^ perhaps it is well that we draw not back too rudely the curtain of time that 

yiO fl \0^ hides them from' our view, for in the very act of exposing the unsubstantial 

iif\ J glory of their hopes we might perchance uncover to the world some day dreams 

gj^ \^ of our own. The company as a matter of course thought their fortunes were 

' t lO /?, made, and they proceeded to take possession of sufficient land for the site of the 

^^T\!f V-'J/'tj city that was to be. After considerable discussion the bay was christened, likewise 

^ ^ .T/-*' the city. Both were named Humboldt in honor of the distinguished naturalist of 

^yiA^^/* that name, at the earnest solicitation of a member of the expedition whose 



24 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

enthusiastic admiration for the illustrious Prussian was as boundless as the 
latter's knowledge. Afterwards the Association voted to give the Baron von 
Humboldt the choice lot in the city of his name, and a deed to the same was 
written and sent to him, with a full account of the adventures of the company, 
for which the Association in due season received his kind acknowledgement 
over his own signature." 

A number of interesting events here occurred, but our space will not justify 
going into detail. Let it suffice to say that the first summer brought a great 
increase in the population of the bay and of Humboldt City. Those members of 
the Laura Virginia Association who remained did everything they could in the 
way of rational community development. Public works of various types were 
undertaken, and many obligations on the part of the members of the Association 
were entered into to pay for the work. The conclusion of the story is thus 
graphically told by Bledsoe : 

"Humboldt City for a year or more kept in advance of any other town of 
the bay. Stores, pack trains, mechanics' shops and saloons gave unmistakable 
signs of business progress. But that could only last while the town could control 
the trade with the mines. The advantage of a newer route, and an Indian trail 
from the head of the bay that was practicable without costly improvement, settled 
the rivalrv in favor of Union, now Areata, as against Humboldt City. The castles 
in the air built by its founders soon tumbled down about them. Union and 
Eureka divided the business of the bay, the city that was to be faded from the 
visionary projects of the adventurers' dream. Humboldt City succumbed to the 
inexorable decrees of fate, and today the scene of its once bustling life is aban- 
doned to its original pastoral simplicity." 



CHAPTER III 

The Discovery of Humboldt Bay 

Although the general public seems to know little concerning the history of 
the early navigators who first discovered the splendid body of water afterwards 
called Humboldt bay, there is authentic information on this phase of history, and 
the elements of romantic adventure and dangerous encounter with unfriendly 
Indians enter into the story. The late Prof. George Davidson, for many years 
in charge of the Geodetic and Coast Survey office at San Francisco, a learned 
geographer as well, made a careful investigation of these voyages. Being a true 
scientist, he verified every fact as far as possible before he published anything 
concerning the matter under discussion. 

In order to appreciate the perils and difficulties of early Pacific coast explora- 
tions, as well as to understand the lure of gold, the spell wrought by strange 
lands and peoples, one should grasp the main points concerning early adventures 
on the Pacific . First, then, let it be borne in mind that the first explorers along 
the Pacific coast of the United States were Cabrillo and Ferrelo. The fact that 
Ferrelo was Cabrillo's second in command, and later his successor, gave him 
the advantage of Cabrillo's experience. 

In November. 1542, Cabrillo, so the old Spanish records say, was driven 
from sight of the wooded and high shoulder of land behind Fort Ross, in latitude 
38° 30' north, by a heavy and characteristic southeaster. It is probable that he 
caught a fading glimpse, through mists and clouds, of the heavily timbered Coast 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 25 

Range, some twenty-two hundred feet altitude, to the northward. There is 
nothing in the records to indicate that he saw or suspected the existence of 
Ponit Arena, latitude of 38° 57' north. When the storm had abated he directed 
his course to the eastward until he had made the same "landfall," after which 
he continued southward to his winter anchorage, the historic el Puerto de la 
Poseion, now Cuyler's harbor. This is merely a slight indentation in the northern 
shore of San Miguel Island, the westernmost of the Santa Barbara Islands. It 
was here that the bold navigator passed away. 

The fate of Cabrillo's party was thereafter in the hands, to a great extent, 
of Ferrelo, who sailed in January, 1543, to the north, where he made what is 
now known as the Fort Ross anchorage. He saw Point Arena, but was driven 
off shore by a terrific gale from the southeast. He was driven south again, but 
finally got as far north, it is believed, as latitude 44°. Cabrillo probably got 
no farther north than latitude 421/^ degrees. 

Sir Francis Drake, the famous English navigator, figures conspicuously in 
voyages afifecting the Pacific coast. On June 5, 1579, he reached the Oregon 
coast in the vicinity of Rogue river, in latitude 42° 30' north. Drake had a 
leaking ship, which, with heavy winds and annoying fogs, caused him much 
delay and annoyance. He patrolled the coast from Oregon to Crescent City's 
latitude — 41° 50'. He also reconnoitered in the vicinity of Cape Mendocino 
and was also near Trinidad head in latitude 41° 03'. He was attracted close to 
the shore here, and Professor Davidson finds some evidence that he saw Humboldt 
bay from the masthead, looking over the low, narrow sand dunes at its entrance, 
especially on a favorable day with a good glass. Davidson says, however: "In 
the stretch between Trinidad head and Cape Mendocino, the discolored waters 
passing through the clear ocean depths would indicate the existence of rivers 
or bays ; but Mad river, north of the bay, and Eel river, to the south of it, do 
not ofifer any well defined marks to betray their entrance to the navigator." 

Nobody will ever know just what Drake discovered in the vicinity of Hum- 
boldt bay, for there are no definite manuscripts on the subject. It should be 
remembered, however, that Francis Fletcher, his chaplain, left an account of the 
voyaging. It is far from satisfactory in its handling of the Humboldt situation. 
The conclusion is inevitable that Drake's search of three hundred miles for a 
safe harbor brought him no adequate reward. 

Robert Dudley, who was known in Italy as the Duke of Northumberland, 
lays down Drake's course as ranging from the Rogue river to latitude 38°. Noth- 
ing in either Fletcher's manuscripts or Dudley's maps and speculations can be 
strained, says Davidson, into evidence that Sir Francis .Drake discovered the 
land-locked waters of Humboldt bay. Similarly, Professor Davidson, after 
examining records in the State Department at Washington, ignores the old story 
that Vizcaino could have seen Humboldt bay, although he navigated in the 
vicinity in 1603. And after the voyages of Vizcaino the work of Spanish 
explorers was practically in abeyance for one hundred and sixty-six years. Bodega 
discovered Trinidad bay, and Portola (or Portala) discovered San Francisco 
bay, but Humboldt bay was not seen, nor was its presence positively even 
suspected by the Spaniards. 

In April, 1792, Vancouver followed the California coast line northward 
from latitude 38° 15', but strangely he never suspected the existence of Humboldt 
bay. He seemed to think tliat the coast was all mountainous, without place for 



26 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

protection in the way of even a slight harbor. He was anchored for a time at 
Trinidad bay, which he calls a nook. 

The discovery of Humboldt bay by water was the result of the activities 
of the Russians between 1803 and 1806. The discovery was actually made by 
Capt. Jonathan Winship, an American, in an American vessel, with an American 
crew — but all were temporarily in the service of the Russian American Company. 
In an explanatory volume and atlas compiled by Tebenkof, a Russian, in 1848, 
an account of the bay is submitted, credit being given to Winship. It is 
described as eight and a half miles from the port of Trinidad, lying to the south- 
ward from that port. It was known as the Bay of Indians, because of the great 
number of hostile Indians adjacent to it. "This bay has not been surveyed," says 
the narrator, "but it is known to be of considerable size, and somewhat resembles 
the Bay of San Francisco, except that the entrance to it for vessels of large class 
is not convenient, and with strong southwest winds it is even impassable for 
vessels of any kind. The depth of water on the bar at the entrance is two 
fathoms, and then the ocean swell breaks on the bar." 

Winship had charge of a sea-otter party for the Russians. The bay was 
for a time called the entrance of Resanof. The direction of the channel, as shown 
by the charts, is that which prevails at the present time. The soundings, however, 
showed two and a half fathoms at the entrance. Professor Davidson speaks 
as follows of the chart and description: "The location of the Indian villages 
is the same as we found them thirty-nine years ago (about 1851) ; and the 
soundings up the bay to the northward, to the location of Eureka, with Indian 
Island directly abreast of it, show nearly the direction of the present main channel. 
There is a small stream which enters the northeast part of the upper bay that 
may be intended for Eureka slough. The vessel anchored in the main channel 
abreast the southern end of Indian Island. The southern area of the bay is 
shown, and the relations of both parts of the bay and the shores of Red Blufif 
to the entrance are plain and satisfactory. Trinidad head is well represented, 
and so is Little river. The distance of this head from the entrance to the bay 
is eight and a half miles by the given scale; but it is seventeen and a half miles 
on the chart of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. Notwithstanding 
the error of distance, the bay is at once recognized as that of Humboldt, when 
errors are taken into consideration." 

It has always been more or less of a wonder how it chanced that the bay 
was not discovered earlier by the seafaring expeditions that so often came close 
to it. It is indisputable that Cabrillo and Ferrelo failed to see the land as far 
north as Cape Mendocino ; that Vizcaino, or his second in command, placed a 
great bay just north of Cape Mendocino, without the peculiar land-locked char- 
acteristics of Humboldt bay; that Bodega, who surveyed Trinidad bay in 1775, 
and who there discovered the peculiar type of our tides, and who also had much 
intercourse with the natives, failed to see or learn of its existence ; that Van- 
couver twice passed it by without a sign that he recognized it ; and that it was 
left to Captain Winship to make the discovery in 1806. 

Professor Davidson has mad? interesting researches into the history of 
subsequent explorations. He concludes that after the discovery of Winship, 
especially after the decrease of the sea-otter catch, in 1812, there was no voyage 
of exploration along the Oregon and Cahfornia coast for a long period of years. 
But in October, 1837, Capt. Sir Edward Belcher, R. N., when leaving Nootka 
sound, proposed to enter the Columbia river, and then coast southward to San 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 27 

Francisco. Rough weather, however, compelled him to keep his offing and make 
the best of his way to San Francisco. 

In the fall of 1841, Capt. Charles Wilkes, U. S. Navy, commanding the 
United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1841, voyaged along the coast in the 
vicinity of Humboldt bay, but did not enter it. 

In September, 1846, Capt. Henry Kellett, R. N., in the Herald, left the 
Strait of Fuca, and approached the land near Cape Mendocino. In March, 1850, 
several vessels left San Francisco for the mouth of the Trinity river, where 
mining operations were rather active. On the 26th the lookout on the schooner 
Laura Virginia, under Captain Ottinger of the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service, 
discovered from the masthead the waters and mouth of Eel river, and the waters 
also, but not the entrance of Humboldt bay. Dr, Josiah Gregg's land party had 
prev-iously made the same discovery, plus the entrance, but this was not known 
to. the Laura Virginia party. 

The Laura Virginia continued her cruise along shore to the northward, 
believing that there was no entrance to the bay. At that time the wind and sea 
were high and the breakers terrified the navigators. They found Mad and Little 
rivers, and afterwards anchored in Trinidad bay for some days. They also 
examined the Klamath river, after which they returned to Trinidad bay and 
anchored there for some days. The party searched by land for an entrance to 
the bay and finally found it at the north point. Some days thereafter the 
schooner anchored ofif the south breakers, abreast of the southern point. 

X)n April 8, Capt. H. Buhne, whose name afterwards figured in the history 
of the county, and whose descendants are prominent today, attempted a passage 
through the breakers. He was second officer of the Laura Virginia, and his boat 
was almost swamped several times in the south breakers. A party of Indians 
signaled to the party to make the north passage, but he finally reached the Siwash 
channel through the southern entrance, and through that reached the main channel 
and entered the bay. Buhne then ascended Red Bluff and clearly saw the direction 
of the channel between the two lines of breakers, and a smooth bar outside. 

The schooner again went northward and remained there for about five days. 
On her return Buhne went out to her through the channel, sounding in almost 
four fathoms of water on the bar. He piloted the schooner into the harbor 
and to an anchorage oft" Humboldt point. It was the Laura Virginia party that 
gave the bay its name in honor of Alexander von Humboldt, though there were 
many who wanted to name it for Mr. Buhne. These facts were obtained from 
Captain Buhne by Professor Davidson in 1890, when Buhne was still piloting on 
the bay. 

D. L. Thornbury, former superintendent of public schools at Eureka, made 
a careful study of the ocean voyages in and around the bay. In a paper sum- 
marizing his conclusions, he says in part : 

"There is no doubt that Capt. Jonathan Winship made the first authentic 
discovery of Humboldt bay, in 1806, while commanding a ship named Ocean. The 
ship was under the control of and working for the Russian American Company, 
chiefly engaged in the fur trade, the sea-otter being the main purpose of its 
voyages. The ship sailed down the coast to Trinidad, which headland had been 
known to the Russians for several years. With the party were a hundred or 
more Alute Indians, with fifty-two small boats, and as they were spread out 
over the country in search of game, the bay was sighted by the Indians and news 
of the fact reported to Winship. He set out and eighteen miles to the south 



28 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

discovered the entrance of what he called the Bay of the Indians. He sounded 
at the entrance, which he named Resanof , and found a depth of fifteen feet, which 
was enough to float his ship. He crossed the bar and came up the channel, which 
was about the same as at the present time. He anchored the Ocean at the 
southern end of what is now known as Gunther's Island, half way between the 
island and the Samoa peninsula. 

"His Indians spread out over the bay and neighboring rivers and discovered 
four Indian villages, one on the north peninsula, the second close to Brainard's 
point, a tliird a short distance south of Bucksport, and the last on the end of 
the south spit. The Indians did riot welcome the newcomers because they were 
destroying the sea-otters, which abounded in the bay, disturbing geese and ducks, 
and annoying the clam diggers. Several conflicts occurred, and the Indians 
refused to trade with the Russians. Captain Winship took observations of the 
position of the bay, and his figures were not far wrong, as will be seen : Correct 
latitude, 40° 45'; correct longitude, 124° 14'. Winship's latitude, 40° 59'; 
VVinship's longitude, 124° 08'. He also made a map of the surrounding country, 
which is remarkably correct. The soundings show almost the present channel, 
with three islands. The small stream may be intended for Jacoby creek." 



CHAPTER IV. 
Land Discovery of Humboldt Bay 

So long as men continue to have a strain of the boyish love of adventure in 
them, a certain fascination will attach to stories that pertain to what pioneers 
have done in new countries. Parkman's histories of the adventures of sturdy 
pioneers among the Indians of Canada and the United States, Winthrop's stories 
of canoe and saddle among the rivers and forests of Washington, pictures of the 
lone Oregon trail, and even the scenes depicted by Fenimore Cooper, have their 
counterpart very largely in the events that culminated in the land discovery of 
Humboldt bay, which was more than half a century after its discovery by Captain 
Winship and his party, in command of the Russian ship Ocean. 

It was not until many thrilling adventures had been experienced that L. K. 
Wood and his party looked upon the great wall of breakers at Humboldt bar. 
Days and nights of weary marching, experiences in wild camps, and battling 
with the elements were the prelude to the discovery. The story has been simply 
and beautifully told by the late L. K. Wood, a prominent member of the party 
that made the discovery. 

According to his narrative, the month of October, 1849, found him on 
Trinity river, at a point now called Rich bar. He was there poorly provisioned 
and poorly clad, at the beginning of the winter season, which is one of heavy 
rains and impassable roads except where civilization has tamed the elements, 
bridged the streams, and bade the torrents to leave the well-built roads un- 
molested. In 1849 winter meant raging torrents that could not be crossed. 

The little company at Rich bar numbered some thirty persons, every one 
of whom was in about the same condition as that of Mr. Wood — ill fitted for 
the season. Not far from the bar was an Indian ranch, the inhabitants of which 
often visited the white men. It was here that the members of the party first 
learned that the ocean was only about eight days' travel from Rich bar, also that 
"a large and beautiful bay existed, surrounded by extensive prairie lands." 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 29 

In spite of alternating rain and snow this story impelled a number of the 
party to conceive the idea of a journey to the bay thus described. If the camp 
had been well provisioned, perhaps, there would have been no such thought at 
that particular season but food and supplies were pretty well exhausted, and there 
seemed little probability of replenishment. It was therefore necessity, in part, 
that determined some of the company to make a strike for the south, where they 
might find game and a camp for the season. 

Josiah Gregg, a physician from Missouri, was the first and most active pro- 
moter of the expedition. He had with him compasses and "the implements neces- 
sary to guide us through the uninhabited, trackless region," says Mr. Wood, 
"and no one seemed better qualified to guide and direct an expedition of this 
kind than he. Upon him, therefore, the choice fell to take command." 

Accordingly twenty-four men determined to make a start for the region 
thus glowingly described by the ranchmen. Dr. Gregg made arrangements with 
the chief owner of the ranch to engage two of his workmen as guides, as they 
were more or less familiar with the country. It was decided that the start should 
be made on November 5 if the torrential rains that had long been falling should 
abate. 

But November 5 brought no improvement in- the weather, for the rain had 
by that time turned to snow and the resolution of some of the party choked 
within their breasts. They had not the courage to make the start. To add to 
the confusion the Indian guides declined to leave their homes, stoutly maintaining 
that the terrific rains along the river had been heavy snow storms in the 
mountains, and that by reason of the depth of the drifts the lives of the entire 
party would be endangered. The Indians were right in assuming that the journey 
would be a perilous one. Their judgment disheartened all of the party but 
eight, which consisted of the following persons : Dr. Josiah Gregg, captain of 
the company ; Thomas Seabring, of Ottawa, 111. ; David A. Buck, of New York ; 
J. B. Truesdell, of Oregon ; one Van Duzen, whose Christian name has not been 
preserved and whose native land is not known ; Charles C. Southard^ of Boston ; 
Isaac Wilson, of Missouri ; and L. K. Wood, of Mason county, Ky. 

An examination of the food sup])lies indicated that there was barely enough 
flour for ten days, while of pork and beans there was scarcely enough for so 
long. Undeterred by the appearance of the commissary department, the restless 
little party broke camp and made the start. Mr. Wood remarks : "Here com- 
menced an expedition the marked and prominent features of which were constant 
and unmitigated toil, hardship, privation, and sufifering. Before us, stretching 
as far as the eye could reach, lay mountains, high and rugged, deep valleys and 
difficult canyons, now filled with water by the recent heavy rains." 

But the intrepid little band started away from the fires of the old camp, 
leaving the river and the rains for the snows and perils of the mountains, over 
which the ascent was steep, tedious, and extremely difficult. Hunger, danger 
and fatigue were the ever-present companions of that historic march. Often 
there was no trail or guide save the path of elk or the dim signs of an old 
Indian route. The undergrowth in the forests was dense, and the ground was 
completely saturated with water. After the company had plodded its weary way 
out of the slippery mud, its members beheld a great stretch of snow in all 
directions, with no sign of road or trail. The narrator adds : "We now had 
to grope our way as best we might. Slowly and silently we continued to ascend 
the steepest part of the mountain in order to shorten the distance." 



30 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

A feeling of desolation and inexpressible fear seized the party as it gazed 
upon the great wastes from the summit. As they looked upon the untrodden wilds 
that stretched in all directions, they realized that great piles of snow-crested 
mountains lay between them and the valley they would reach. But it was realized 
that the time for reconsidering the choice was over. The duty of the hour lay 
in marching on. 

It. was now sunset and preparations were made for rest and food. Camping 
on that bleak and lonely mountain, where blinding storms and terrible gales 
might come at any moment was an experience that tested the courage of the 
brave men of the party. 

The animals were speedily unpacked, after which men and beasts were fed. 
Then the adventurers took their saddles and blankets from their horses and 
threw them on the snow, pillowed thus through the lonely watches of the first 
night. Mr. Wood does not go into details as to food, conversations and minor 
matters. His narrative indicates that everybody was intent on making an early 
start the second day. He simply tells us that at an early hour in the morning, 
having breakfasted, the journey was resumed. 

The second day's journey was to descend the mountain, and to do this with- 
out deviating more than necessary from the course that led to the bay. Owing 
to the fact that the course lay almost west and that the mountains and the coast 
paralleled each other in a line running from north to south, it was necessary to 
pass over a constant succession of mountains, now over the top of one, then 
through the deep valley beneath, and again climbing the steep sides of another. 
Mr. Wood adds : "Nothing worthy of notice beyond the weary routine of con- 
stant traveling by day, and stretching our weary limbs upon the snow or cold, 
wet ground by night occurred during the succeeding four days." 

But more stirring events were soon to break the monotony of the journey. 
Mr. Wood says : "Toward evening of the next day, while passing over a sterile, 
rugged country, we heard what appeared to be the rolling and breaking of surf 
upon a distanct sea shore, or the roaring of some mighty waterfall. A halt was 
therefore determined upon, and we resolved to ascertain the cause of this before 
proceeding farther, and here we pitched our camp." 

David A. Buck either volunteered or was detailed to make his way toward 
the sound of the breakers. He made his start the next morning. Just before 
night he returned to the camp, bringing with him a quantity of sand which, 
from its appearance, as well as that of the place from which he gathered it, he 
thought indicated the presence of gold. As the party was not on a gold-hunting 
expedition at the moment, but in search of the bay, it was decided to press toward 
the coast. But it should be explained that Mr. Buck really found the source of 
the noise. It was a stream which rushed with swollen violence over a steep 
descent. He had discovered the south fork of the Trinity river. The company 
found it impossible to cross until the junction of the stream with the Trinity was 
discovered. 

The river was crossed, whereupon the company came suddenly upon an 
Indian ranch. Men, women and children fled. The scene was somewhat 
ludicrous all round, as the party itself had no suspicion that Indians dwelt there. 
The firearms of the party were wholly unfit for use, being soaked with rain. 
The narrative of Mr. Wood as to the episode with the Indians here follows: 

"The scene that followed wholly divested our minds of all apprehension of 
danger, for as soon as they saw us, men, women and children fled in the wildest 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 31 

confusion, some plunging headlong into the river, not venturing to look behind 
them until they had reached a considerable elevation upon the mountain on the 
opposite side of the river, while others sought refuge in the thickets and among 
the rocks, leaving everything behind them. As soon as they had stopped in their 
flight, we endeavored, by signs, to induce those yet in view to return, giving them 
to understand, as best we could, that we intended them no harm; but it was all 
for a time to no purpose. They had never before seen a white man, nor had 
they received any intelligence of our coming; and to their being thus suddenly 
brougiit in contact with a race of beings so totally different in color, dress, and 
appearance from any they had ever seen or heard of, is attributable the over- 
whelming fear they betrayed. 

"Our stock of provisions was now nearly exhausted, and what portion of 
our journey had been accomplished we were of course entirely ignorant. One 
thing, however, was apparent — that from then forward, upon Providence and 
our good rifles our dependence for food must rest. 

"Having failed to induce the Indians to return, and observing that they had 
considerable quantities of salmon in their huts, which they had obtained and 
cured for their subsistence during the winter, we helped ourselves to as much 
as we wanted, leaving in its place a quantity of venison that had been killed by 
some of our party a short time previously, invoking as a justification for so 
doing the old adage 'a fair exchange is no robbery,' and pressed forward on our 
journey with all diligence. 

"We had hoped that the Indians would not care to become better acquainted 
with us, and would allow us to pass unmolested. Imagine our surprise, then, 
when we were about camping for the night, there came marching toward us 
some seventy-five or eighty warriors, their faces and bodies painted, looking like 
so many demons, and armed and prepared for battle." The guns and ammuni- 
tion of the little company were soaking wet and worthless except as clubs. It 
was a grave question what to do, but it was quickly decided to assume an air 
of indifiference. When they came within a hundred yards of us, however, we 
motioned to them to halt," says the narrator, "and they obeyed. Two of the 
company then advanced holding up to the view of the savages a number of beads 
and other fancy articles which the travelers were fortunate enough to possess. 
The warriors seemed greatly pleased with the articles, soon after which they 
were persuaded that the invaders were friendly and had no desire to hurt the 
Indians. The savages soon became friendly. They represented that their people 
were very numerous and that the travelers were at their mercy. They made it plain 
that they could at any moment slaughter the entire company. We soon started 
to convince them that they were mistaken and that a small company like ours 
could do wonders with our weapons." 

Their curiosity was roused, and they wondered how the weapons were used. 
In order to accomplish their purpose, the white men gave them to understand 
that the guns could kill as many- of them at a single shot as could stand, one 
behind another. They were not satisfied and expressed their doubts. They de- 
manded to see the effect of shooting at a mark. The white men, knowing of the 
unfit condition of their weapons, agreed to make a display of their power the next 
morning. 

"Prudence and due regard for our safety compelled us to keep a careful 
watch during the night," runs the story of Mr. Wood, "but notwithstanding this, 
and the fact that some of the company felt little inclined to sleep, one of their 



32 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

expert thieves, aided by the pitchy darkness, crept to the spot where we were 
camped and took from beneath a pair of blankets a Colt's revolver without detec- 
tion. This was surprising to all, especially to the owner of the revolver, who 
could not sleep and was doubtless awake while the Indian was at his side." 

It was the intention of the company to escape at dawn, but the Indians, 
anticipating this course, had gathered in great numbers, bringing their women 
and children to the spot. It was then decided, as the ammunition had been dried 
and the guns prepared, to give the promised demonstration. Here is the way 
the event culminated : 

A piece of paper some two inches in diameter was handed to an Indian, who 
was asked to fasten it on a tree about sixty paces distant. It was explained that 
the marksman would shoot and that the ball would strike the paper. The Indians 
were arranged in a circle, full of curiosity. It was purposely not explained that 
the weapon would make any noise, so when the explosion occurred the entire 
party was panic-stricken. The women and children set up a terrific shrieking, at 
the same time dispersing in all directions. They feared that the warriors had 
been slain, but when they saw that nobody was hurt they returned to see what 
had happened to the tree. They carefully examined the hole in the paper, noting 
also that the bullet had penetrated the tree and disappeared in its depths. 

"They now seemed disposed to treat us with greater respect," says Wood. 
"Taking advantage of the impression thus created, we tried to convince them that 
our small company was able to cope with all they could bring against us, and 
explained the force of a bullet thrown from one of our guns." It was also 
explained that the power of the gun was as much greater than the power of an 
arrow as its noise was louder. 

The Indians then warned the company that the course it was pursuing would 
bring it in conflict with Indians who would interfere. It had been intended to 
go along the river, but the Indians advised the party to strike for the west. This 
advice was taken, and the party at once began the ascent of the mountain that 
lay in its path. 

The only provisions left by this time were flour and a paste made therefrom. 
It was devoured with avidity, but on the night of November 13 the party went 
to bed dinnerless. The animals had been without food for two days, but were 
now eating grass. 

Marching under these conditions, hungry and tired, it was sometimes thought 
best to try to return, but the suggestion was always overruled, for it was 
believed that the coast must be closer than the old camp. After picking their 
way carefully for a day, through a dense forest, a prairie was discovered. On 
the morning of the next day every member of the party started in search of 
game. Several deer were killed, and the half-famished company broiled the 
steaks in the ashes of the camp. It was determined to rest a few days to 
recuperate. During the stay a good quantity of venison was cured. 

This venison was consumed during the march, and three days of fasting 
followed for men and beasts. Now and then trees were cut down in order to 
give the animals a chance to eat the leaves. Two of the horses were so famished 
that they were abandoned to die. At this apparently hopeless stage of the march 
a fertile prairie was again discovered. It afforded rich food for the horses, 
while plenty of venison was obtained for the men. A delay of three days was 
decided upon, during which a quantity of venison was prepared to be taken along. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOrDT COUNTY 33 

As two animals had been left behind, it was necessary to load those remaining 
pretty heavily with provisions. 

At the end of ten days the food was again exhausted and no living game 
was in sight. For several days the party lived on bitter nuts which looked like 
acorns. Only a few could be eaten, however, as they proved an emetic in larger 
doses. Mr. Wood says: "Not one experience for days was without its hard- 
ships, privations, and almost starvation. At last we reached another opening in 
this wide forest, and without first selecting a camping place, as was usual with 
us, we hastened to search for food." 

It was not long before a band of elk was observed, likewise deer in another 
direction. The party separated and resolved to attack the elk from different 
directions. 

Mr. Wood soon heard some shots in quick succession, whereupon he hastened 
to the spot and found that X'^an Duzen had killed two grizzly bears and broken 
the back of a third one which lay near at hand. Two other grizzlies snarled and 
growled close at hand. These two were killed, one by Wood, one by Wilson, 
who had come upon the scene after hearing so much firing. The elk were lost, 
but several deer were brought to camp before nightfall. A delay of five days- 
for rest and the curing of venison saw the party ready to proceed on its perilous 
journey once more. 

It was found that the party had not averaged more than seven miles a day 
in its traveling, but the mountains were less steep and it was believed that a 
level country was not far away. The journey was resumed with lighter hearts 
and more buoyant hopes than for some days. It was believed that the coast must 
be within twelve or fourteen miles of the last camp, and this surmise was correct. 
Heavy redwood forests were encountered, and it was found that some of the 
trees were fully twenty-two feet in diameter. It was found impossible to travel 
more than two miles a day through the forests. Fallen trees were the chief 
impediment. No animals were encountered in the deep forests. 

On the evening of the third day from our bear camp, as we called it, our 
ears were greeted with the welcome sound of the surf rolling and beating upon 
the sea shore. There was no doubt or mistake about it this time. The lofty tops 
caught the sound, which the deep stillness of a night in a forest rendered the 
more plainly audible ; and echoed it back to our attentive ears. 

The following morning Messrs. Wilson and Van Duzen proposed to go to 
the coast in advance of the company, and at the same time to mark out the best 
route for the animals ; to which proposition all agreed, and accordingly they 
left camp. In the evening of the same day they returned, bringing the glad 
tidings that they had reached the sea shore, and that it was not more than six 
miles distant. 

At an early hour in the morning we resumed our journey with renewed 
spirits and courage. For three long days did we toil in these redwoods. Ex- 
haustion and almost starvation had reduced the animals to the last extremity. 
Three had just died, and the remainder were so much weakened and reduced that 
it constituted no small part of our labor and annoyance in assisting them to get up 
when they had fallen, which happened every time they were unfortunate enough 
to stumble against the smallest obstacle that lay in their path, and not one single 
effort would they make to recover their feet until that assistance came. At 
length we issued from this dismal forest prison, in which we had so long been 



34 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

shul up, into the open country, and at the same instant in full view of that vast 
world of water — the Pacific ocean. 

Never shall I forget the thrill of joy and delight that animated me as I 
stood upon the sandy barrier that bounds and restrains those mighty waters. 

It seemed like meeting some dear old friend, whose memory with joy I 
had treasured during long years of separation, and as the well spent surf glided 
upon the beach, bathing my very feet, a thousand recollections like magic flooded 
my mind. I felt as though there was yet some hope of deliverance from these 
sufferings. What a precious gift to man is hope! To no one is it denied, nor 
under any circumstances; it throws a ray of light over the darkest scene; it is a 
pleasure as lasting as it is great — it may be deferred but it never dies. To me, 
at times, its rays were as bright as the beams of a noonday sun, and anon 
obscure as the faint and uncertain glimmering of a dim and distant light. 

Our appetites, having again been sharpened by more than two days of 
fasting, soon awakened us from our pleasing reveries, and reminded us of 
the necessity of immediately going in search of food. Not long after we 
had separated for that purpose, Van Duzen shot a bald eagle, and Southard, 
a raven which was devouring a dead fish thrown upon the beach by the surf. 
These they brought into camp, and all. eagle, raven and half-devoured fish, 
were stewed together for our supper, after partaking of which we retired to 
our blankets and enjoyed a good night's rest. 

Our prospects for a meal the next day were anything but flattering. Dr. 
Gregg therefore requested me to return to my mule which had fallen down 
the day before and been left to die, and take out his heart and liver and bring 
them to camp. I accordingly went, but judge of my surprise, when approaching 
the spot where I had left him, to find him quietly feeding. I determined at once 
not to obey my orders, and, instead thereof, drove him into camp. 

The point at which we struck the coast was at the mouth of a small stream 
now known by the name of Little river. From this point we pushed on northward, 
following the coast line about eleven miles, when a small lake or lagoon arrested 
our progress. Finding it impossible to proceed further without encountering 
the redwood forest, which we were not in the least inclined to do, it was 
determined that we should retrace our steps and proceed south, following the 
coast to San Francisco, if such a course was possible. Traveling south about 
eight miles, we made a halt at a point or headland, which we had passed on our 
way up from where we first struck the coast. This we called "Gregg's Point", 
and is now known as Trinidad. 

During our journey over the mountains the old Doctor took several obser- 
vations in order to prevent as much as possible a departure from the general 
course given us by the Indians. As we advanced, and our toil and sufferings 
accumulated, we gradually cultivated a distaste for such matters, and at an 
early day regarded his scientific experiments with indifference, while later in our 
journey they were looked upon with contempt. It was not unusual, therefore, 
for us to condemn him in most unmeasured terms for wasting his time and 
energies about that which would neither benefit him nor us in the least, or be 
of any service to others. 

From an observation taken on this plateau, where the town of Trinidad is 
now situated, this point was found to be in latitude forty degrees, six minutes 
north. This the old gentleman took the trouble to engrave upon the trunk of a 
tree standing near by, for the benefit, as he said, of those who might hereafter 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 35 

visit the spot, if perchance such an occurrence should ever happen. Here we 
remained two days, Hving on mussels and dried salmon, which we obtained from 
the Indians, of whom we found many. 

Again we resumed our journey. In crossing a deep gulch, a short distance 
from the point, the Doctor had the misfortune to have two of his animals 
mire down. He called lustily for assistance, but no one of the company would 
aid him to rescue them. We had been annoyed so much, and detained so long, 
in lifting fallen mules (some remembered the treatment they received when in 
a similar predicament) that one and all declared they would no longer lend 
assistance to man or beast, and that from this time forward each would constitute 
a company by himself, under obligatiori^ to no one, and free to act as best 
suited his notions. 

In obedience to this resolve I immediately set about making arrangements 
in regard to myself. Having for some time noticed the rapid strides the com- 
pany were making toward disruption, and anticipating a result similar to that 
which had just transpired, I visited the chief of a tribe of Indians who lived 
close at hand, and explained to him as best I could what I wanted and intended 
to do, provided we could agree. I gave him to understand that I desired to 
remain with him awhile, and that if he would protect me and take care of my 
mule, and give me a place in his wigwam, I would furnish him with all the 
elk meat he wanted. To this he readily acquiesced, and in addition returned many 
assurances that nothing should harm either me or mine. 

When the company were again about starting — for they all seemed bound in 
the same direction^ whether in conformity to an agreed plan, or involuntarily, I 
did not know — they discovered that I was not prepared to accompany them, and 
demanded to know why I did not get ready. I then informed them of my 
determination, and the agreement I had made with the Indian chief. All were 
violently opposed to the agreement, and urged as a reason why I should not 
persist in such a determination that when all together we were not sufficiently 
strong to pass through this Indian country in safety, should they see fit to 
oppose us, and that to remain with them would be to abandon myself to certain 
destruction, while at the same time it would lessen the probability of any of 
them reaching the settlements in safety. I told them I had no horse that could 
travel, that I was not able to walk, and that I would as soon be killed by the 
Indians as again to incur the risk of starvation, or, perhaps, that which was worse, 
fall a victim to cannibalism. 

Truesdell, who had two animals left, offered to sell me one of them for 
$100 if I would continue with them. I finally accepted the offer and proceeded 
with them. 

Little river was soon recrossed, after which nothing occurred to interrupt 
our progress until we reached another stream, which was then a large river, 
being swollen by the heavy rains. Its banks ran full, and its waters, near the 
mouth, appeared deep and moved so slowly and gently that we concluded it 
must be a navigable stream. Our next difficulty was to cross this river. Here 
the harmony that had existed for so short a time was again disturbed. 

The Doctor wished to ascertain the latitude of the mouth of the river, in 
order hereafter to know where it was. This was of course opposed by the rest 
of the company. Regardless of this opposition, he proceeded to take his 
observation. We were, however, equally obstinate in adhering to the determina- 
tion of proceeding without delay. Thus decided, our animals were speedily 



36 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

crossed over, and our blankets and ourselves placed in canoes — which we had 
procured from the Indians for this purpose — ready to cross. As the canoes 
were about pushing off, the Doctor, as if convinced that we would carry our 
determination into effect, and he be left behind, hastily caught up his instruments 
and ran for the canoe, to reach which, however, he was compelled to wade 
several steps in the water. His cup of wrath was now filled to the brim, but 
he remained silent until the opposite shore was gained, when he opened upon 
us a perfect battery of the most withering and violent abuse. Several times 
during the ebullition of the old man's passion he indulged in such insulting 
language and comparisons that some of the party, at best not too amiable in their 
disposition, came very near inflicting upon him summary punishment by con- 
signing him, instruments and all, to this beautiful river. Fortunately for the old 
gentleman, pacific councils prevailed, and we were soon ready and off again. This 
stream, in commemoration of the difficulty I have just related, we called Mad 
river. 

We continued on down the beach a short time, when night overtaking us, 
we camped. So long a time had elapsed since our departure from the Trinity 
river, and so constant the suffering, toil and danger to which we had been exposed, 
that the main object of the expedition had been quite forgotten, and our only 
thought and sole aim seemed to be, how we should extricate ourselves from 
the situation we were in, and when we might exchange it for one of more 
comfort and less exposure and danger. 

Immediately after halting. Buck and myself went in search of water. It 
had been our custom, whenever night happened to overtake us, there to camp — • 
the almost ceaseless falling of the rain affording us a continual supply of water. 
This night, however, we camped in some sand hills, about a mile back from the 
beach without giving a thought how we should get water. A short distance 
from camp we separated. Buck going in one direction and I in another. I soon 
found slough water, which, although not altogether agreeable and pleasant to 
the taste, I concluded would answer our purpose, and returned with some of it to 
camp. Not long after, Buck came in and placed his kettle of water before us 
without anything being said. The Doctor, not relishing the water I had brought, 
and being somewhat thirsty, was the first to taste the other. The suddenness 
with which the water was spat out, after it had passed his lips, was a sufficient 
warning to the rest of us. The Doctor asked Mr. Buck where he got that water. 
Buck replied, "About half a mile from here." The Doctor remarked, "You cer- 
tainly did not get it out of the ocean, and we would like to know where you did 
get it." Buck answered, 'T dipped it out of a bay of smooth water." This excited 
our curiosity and Buck seemed, at the time, to be rather dogged and not much 
disposed to gratify us by explanations. It was dusk, and he could not tell the 
extent of the bay. This was the night of the 20th of December, 1849, and was 
undoubtedly the first discovery of this, bay by Americans, notwithstanding a 
Capt. Douglass Ottinger claims to have first discovered it.* We gave it the name 
of Trinity bay, but before we could return to it. Captain Ottinger, with a party 
by water, discovered it and gave it the name of Humboldt bay. 

The next morning, by daylight, we were up and moved our camp over to the 
bay, and stopped there during the day. This was opposite the point where 
Bucksport now stands. We encamped, the night previous, under a group of 
small trees in the sand hills lying between the bay and the ocean, on the strip 

*See chapter on discovery by Captain Winship in 1806. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 37 

of land now known as the Peninsula or North Beach. The reason we had not 
discovered the bay the day previous, in traveling down from the mouth of Mad 
river, was because we followed the beach — it being hard sand and easy traveling — 
and the low hills and timber on the strip of land, lying between the ocean and 
the bay, shut out the latter entirely from our view. 

During the day we remained here, the Indians came to our camp, and we 
learned from them that we could not follow down the beach on account of the 
entrance of the bay, v^hich was just below us. Mr. Buck, however, to satisfy us, 
took an Indian with him and started down to the entrance. When he returned 
he reported quite a large and apparently deep stream connecting the bay with 
the ocean, and considerable swell setting in, which he thought would make it 
dangerous to attempt to cross. The Indians also represented that it was deeper 
than the trees growing on the peninsula were tall; so we abandoned the idea of 
attempting to cross it. 

Where we camped was the narrowest part of the bay, being the channel 
abreast of Bucksport, and the Indians assured us that we could swim our animals 
across there, and offered to take us over in their canoes. Most of the party, 
including Dr. Gregg, were of the same opinion, but some of the company 
opposing the project, we packed up next morning and started northward, keep- 
ing as near the bay as the small sloughs would permit, for the purpose of heading 
it. After making the way through brush and swamp, swimming sloughs and 
nearly drowning ourselves and animals, we arrived toward night on the second 
day, after leaving our camp opposite Bucksport, on a beautiful plateau near 
the highland and redwoods, at the northeast end of the bay. At this point, 
which commands a fine view of the bay, stretching out to the southwest, we 
made a halt, and it being nearly night, pitched our camp. This plateau is the 
present site of the town of Union (now Areata). 

Our camp was near the little spring, about two hundred yards from the east 
side of the Plaza, towards the woods. I have seen some of the old tent pins, 
still remaining there, within the last year (1872). 

As soon as we had unpacked some of the party started in search of game, 
and soon came across a fine band of elk, a little north of our camp, about where 
the cemetery now is, and fired several shots, wounding two or three, but they 
succeeded in reaching the thicket in the edge of the redwoods, and dark setting 
in they could not be found. We therefore did not get any supper that night. 
The next morning, early, some went in search of the elk and found one of them 
in the brush, dead, and brought it to camp. 

The next morning, December 25th, we roasted the elk's head in the ashes 
and this constituted our Christmas feast. This was my first Christmas in Cali- 
fornia, and, having been reduced so often to the point of starvation, we enjoyed 
this simple fare, yet, you may rest assured, it was not that "Merry Christmas" 
I had been accustomed to in Kentucky with the "old folks at home." This day 
we moved down to the point of high prairie, near the mouth of Freshwater 
slough at the east side of the bay, and there camped. 

The next day we made our way through the woods, following an indistinct 
Indian trail, back of where the town (now city) of Eureka is situated, and came 
out at the open space in the rear of where Bucksport now stands, which place 
derives its name from one of our party, David A. Buck. We pitched our camp 
near the blufif, on the top of which is at present Fort Humboldt. 



38 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

The next day we followed down the bay, crossing Elk river, to Humboldt 
Point. Here we were visited by the chief of the tribe of Indians in the vicinity 
of the bay, who was an elderly and a very dignified and intelligent Indian. He 
appeared friendly and seemed disposed to afiford us every means of comfort 
in his power. He supplied us with a quantity of clams, upon which we feasted 
sumptuously. The evening we arrived here some of the party went out on the 
slope of prairie to the east of our camp and killed an elk, and while there taking 
care of it we sent a note over to them and received one in return, by this chief, 
who would not allow any other Indian to carry it, but insisted upon being 
the bearer himself. He seemed anxious to arrive at the secret of this means 
of communication, and would watch to see what effect the piece of written paper 
would have on the one to whom he delivered it. This old man's name we learned 
was Ki-we-lat-tah. He is still (1872) living on the bay, and has always been 
known as a quiet and friendly Indian. 

It had been our intention at the outset, if we succeeded in discovering the 
bay, and provided the surrounding country was adapted to agricultural pur- 
poses, and was sufficiently extensive, to locate claims for ourselves, and lay out a 
town, but the deplorable condition in which we now found ourselves, reduced in 
strength, health impaired, our ammunition nearly exhausted — upon which we 
were entirely dependent, as well for the little food we could obtain as for our 
defense and protection — and destitute of either farming or mechanical implements, 
induced us to abandon such intention, at least for the present, and use all 
possible dispatch in making our way to the settlements. 

Accordingly, having remained at this camping place one day, we turned 
our faces toward the south. Our progress was extremely slow, as the rain was 
falling almost incessantly, rendering travel difficult and fatiguing. 

The third day after leaving the bay we reached another river, which arrested 
our advance in that direction. Upon approaching this river we came suddenly 
upon two very old Indians, who at seeing us fell to the ground as if they had 
been shot. We dismounted and made them get up, giving them to understand 
thnt we were their friends ; but it was with difficulty that we succeeded in quiet- 
ing their fears. They were loaded with eels, which they informed us they ob- 
tained from the river. Our appetites being in just such a condition that anything, 
not absolutely poisonous, on which a meal could be made, would be palatable, with- 
out asking many questions, we helped ourselves to nearly the whole of their 
load. Near where we met these Indians, we got them, with their canoes, to set us 
across the river, which was at this time a large stream, the water being high. We 
swam our animals as usual. The point where we crossed was just below the 
junction of Van Duzen's fork, which latter stream takes its name from one of 
our party. Here we remained two days, during which time we lived upon eels 
obtained from the Indians. In exchange for these we gave them some beads and 
some small pieces of iron. They seemed to value these pieces of iron more highly 
than anything else we had to dispose of. I took an old frying pan, that had been 
rendered comparatively useless, having lost its handle and being otherwise con- 
siderably damaged, and broke it into small strips. With these I kept the com- 
pany supplied with eels during our stay, often obtaining as many as three 
dozen for one piece. We gave to this stream the name of Eel river. 

At this camp a controversy arose among us in relation to the course now 
to be pursued. Some contended that we should follow the coast down to San 
Francisco. Others again, urged as the shortest and most advantageous route 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 39 

to proceed up this river as far as its course seemed to suit, and then leave it and 
strike southerly for the nearest settlement. 

Neither party seemed inclined to yield to the other. Not all the arguments 
that the most peaceably disposed members of the company could adduce could 
quell the storm that was gathering". Harsh words passed, and threats were inter- 
changed. As all prospects of a reconciliation had been abandoned, Seabring, 
Buck, Wilson and myself resolved to continue on our journey together, over the 
route we had advocated. Accordingly we separated, and although the rain was 
falling in torrents, we left the camp. 

As before stated, our intention was to continue along the river, believing 
that by so doing our progress would be more rapid, and that the chances for 
obtaining food would be better. In this, however, we were sadly disappointed, 
for as we advanced, the country became more and more uneven, and at last moun- 
tainous. The spurs from the mountains extending down to the river's edge, 
became so abrupt and the ravines between so deep, as to render it extremely 
difficult to get our animals over them. We toiled along, however, until the third 
day when we determined to leave the river. Our hope was to find some moun- 
tain ridge leading in a southeasterly direction — that being about the course we 
desired to take — and with this view we ascended the mountain. 

The day after we left the river it commenced snowing, which, in a short 
time, so completely obliterated all there was of a trail, and shut from our view 
every land mark that could guide us in our course, that we were compelled to 
camp. Our situation now was indeed deplorable. At no time before had we been 
so completely destitute, and never had our prospects been so gloomy and dis- 
heartening. Fast being hemmed in with snow, without food either for ourselves 
or our animals, it seemed to us inevitable that our only alternative was to apply 
to that resource which we had with so much trouble and care preserved and kept 
with us — namely, our mules. We had for some time passed thought that a 
misfortune like that which now seemed imminent, might overtake us, and there- 
fore looked upon them as serving us in additional capacity of food, when neces- 
sity might compel us to resort to them. 

Wliile the snow was yet not too deep, the animals, with their feet, pawed the 
grass bare, and thus obtained all there was to eat. We, too, were fortunate enough 
to kill a small deer. Five days elapsed before we were able to move from this 
camping place, and then not in the direction we desired, for the great quantity 
of snow that had fallen presented an impassable barrier to our progress, conse- 
quently we were compelled to return to the river. 

The small supply which the deer afforded us was not more than sufficient 
to soothe the hunger pains with which we had, with little interruption, been suiifer- 
ing; and by the time we had extricated ourselves from our unfortunate situation 
in the snow, nothing remained of the deer but the skin. 

We continued our course up the river as best we could, sometimes aided by 
an Indian or elk trail, at others literally cutting our way along. Upon passing from 
the forest into a small opening, we came suddenly upon five grizzly bears. Wilson 
and myself immediately went in pursuit of them, but unfortunately met with 
no further success than to wound one of them severely. The day following this, 
while traveling over a piece of mountain prairie, and passing a small ravine or 
gulch, we espied a group of no less than eight more of these animals. Although 
exhausted from fatigue, and so reduced in strength that we were scarcely able to 
drag ourselves along, yet we determined to attack these grim customers. 



40. HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

For several days all that we had or could obtain to subsist upon was the deer- 
skin which we had saved, and a few buckeyes. The former we cut up and boiled 
in water, and afterward drank the water and chewed the hide. 

Wilson, Seabring and myself prepared for the conflict, which it was alto- 
gether probable we would have, before the matter ended, and advanced toward 
them. While yet a long distance from them Seabring sought shelter for him- 
self by climbing a tree, not wishing to hazard the chances of a hand to hand con- 
test with bruin. Wilson and myself advanced until within about one hundred 
yards of the nearest of them when a consultation was again held in relation 
to the mode of making the attack. 

It was arranged that I should approach as near as possible and fire, then 
make the best of my way to some tree for safety. The latter part of the arrange- 
ment I did not assent to, for one very good reason — I was so completely pros- 
trated from exposure and starvation that had I the will to run, my limbs would 
scarcely have been able to execute their functions. We continued to approach 
our antagonists until within about fifty paces, when I leveled my rifle at the one 
nearest me, and after careful aim, fired. The shot was, to all appearances, a fatal 
one, for the huge monster fell, biting and tearing the earth with all the fury of one 
struggling in death. As soon as I had fired, Wilson said to me, in a low tone of 
voice, "Run ! run !" Instead, however, of yielding to his advice, I immediately 
commenced reloading my rifle. Wilson now discharged his gun at another with 
equal success. 

When I had fired, five of the bears started up the mountain. Two now lay 
upon the ground before us, and a third yet remained, deliberately sitting back 
upon her haunches and evidently determined not to yield the ground without a 
contest, looking first upon her fallen companions and then upon us. 

Wilson now thought it about time to retreat, and accordingly made the best 
of his way to a tree. Unfortunately for me, I could not get the ball down upon the 
powder, and in this predicament, so soon as Wilson started to run, the bear 
came dashing at me with fury. I succeeded, however, in getting beyond her 
reach in a small buckeye tree. I now made another efifort to force the ball down 
my rifle but with no better success than at first, and was therefore compelled 
to use it to beat the bear ofif as she attacked the tree, for the purpose of breaking 
it down or shaking me out of it. She kept me busy at this for two or three 
minutes, when to my astonishment the bear I had shot down, having recovered 
sufticiently from the effects of the wound, came bounding toward me with all 
the violence and ferocity that agony and revenge could engender. No blow that 
I could inflict upon the head of the maddened monster with my gun could resist 
or even check her. 

The first spring she made upon the tree broke it down. I had the good 
fortune to gain my feet before they could get hold of me, and ran down the 
mountain in the direction of a small tree, standing about thirty yards distant. 
Every jump I made I thought must be my last, as I could distinctly feel the 
breath of the wounded bear as she grabbed at my heels. I kept clear of her 
while running, but the race was a short one. On reaching the tree, or rather bush, 
I seized hold of the trunk of it and swung my body around so as to afford the 
bear room to pass me, which she did, and went headlong down the hill some 
twenty paces before she could turn back. I exerted all my energies to climb the 
tree, but before I could get six feet from the ground, the hindermost bear caught 
me by the right ankle and dragged me down again. By this time the wounded bear 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 41 

had returned, and, as I fell, grabbed at my face. I, however, dodged, and she 
caught me by the left shoulder. The moments that followed were the most 
critical and perilous of my life. Here, then, thought I, was the end of all things 
to me ! That I must perish — be mangled and torn to pieces — seemed inevitable. 
During all the time I was thus situated, my presence of mind did not forsake me. 

Immediately after the second bear had caught me by the shoulder, the other 
still having hold of my ankle, the two pulled against each other as if to draw me 
to pieces ; but my clothes and their grip giving way occasionally, saved me. In 
this way they continued until they had stripped me of my clothes, except a part 
of my coat and shirt, dislocated my hip, and inflicted many flesh wounds — none 
of the latter, however, being very serious. They seemed unwilling to take hold 
of my flesh, for, after they had divested me of my clothes, they both left me — 
one going away entirely, and the other (the wounded bear) walking slowly up 
the hill, about one hundred yards from me, and there deliberately seated herself 
and fastened her gaze upon me as I lay upon the ground perfectly still. After 
several minutes I ventured to move, which, I suppose, she must have seen, for 
the first motion brought her pell mell upon me again, roaring at every jump 
as loud as she could roar. At this moment, I must confess, my presence of mind 
nearly forsook me. I knew that if she again attacked or took hold of me it 
must be upon my naked flesh. No sooner had she reached me than she placed 
her nose violently against my side, and then raised her head and gave vent to 
two of the most frightful, hideous and unearthly yells that were ever heard by 
mortal man. I remained perfectly quiet, hoping that by so doing she would 
leave me, and in this hope I was not disappointed, for after standing over me a 
short time she again walked away. I now thought she had left for good, and 
determined to place myself, if possible, beyond her reach, should she, however, 
return again. 

Up to this time I was unconscious of the extent of the injury I had received ; 
that an accident had befallen my leg I was well aware, but not until I attempted to 
get up was my true situation manifest to me. I then found that I could not 
use my right leg, and supposed it was broken. 

Turning to look about me, to assure myself that my enemy had retired, 
imagine my surprise at seeing her again not more than one hundred yards 
distant, sitting back upon her haunches and her eyes glaring full at me. With 
my leg in the condition I have related, I dragged myself to the buckeye bush, 
from which I had been pulled down by the bear, and after much difficulty suc- 
ceeded in climbing up about eight feet. So soon as Wilson had discovered me 
up the tree, he left his tree and came to me. The bear seeing him, came bounding 
toward us with great ferocity. Wilson cried. "What in the name of God 
shall I do?" I replied that he could come up the limb of the adjoining tree, and 
he was barely able to get beyond reach, before she arrived. She deliberately seated 
herself immediately beneath us, and kept her eyes steadily upon us, and as either 
one or the other of us happened to move, she would utter an angry growl. I 
observed Wilson present his rifle at her, and not shooting immediately, I said : 
"Shoot her — for God's sake, shoot her — for she is the beast that did me all the 
injury I have received !" He watched her eyes closely for a moment with his aim 
still fixed upon her, and when I again repeated my request for him to shoot, he 
replied: "No, sir; let her go — let her go, if she will." 



42 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

After having detained us in this situation for a few minutes, she went away, 
and (Usappeared altogether, much to our joy and rehef — thereby giving me an 
opportunity to get down from the tree. 

Now that all fear of further interruption from our late visitor was passed, 
I began fully to realize my true condition. The wounds I had received became 
momentarily more painful. As soon as the remainder of the party came up, I was 
carried some distance down the mountain to a place suitable for camping. Here 
we remained twelve days, subsisting entirely upon the meat afforded by the bear 
Wilson shot in the late encounter. 

It now became a source of much anxiety to know when and how we 
should leave this place, or what disposition they would make of me, as I seemed 
to grow worse, instead of better. It was thought by remaining in camp for ten 
or twelve days my wounds would have so far healed as to enable us to resume 
our journey; but no one, not even myself, supposed that the injuries I had 
received were of so serious a character as they now proved to be. Finding, how- 
ever, at the expiration of that time, that my condition had in nowise improved, 
they consulted me in relation to the course that should be adopted. That it was 
necessary, absolutely so, that no more time should be lost, all insisted, as we were 
entirely stripped of clothing and without shoes to protect our feet from the 
thorns and briers that were ever in our path. All were becoming aware of the 
fact that their strength and health were fast failing, and although we had, from 
the outset, been gradually trained to bear cold, hunger and pain, yet it was too 
evident that our powers of endurance were seriously impaired. They urged, as 
a further reason, that our ammunition was now nearly or quite exhausted, upon 
which our sole dependence rested for the scanty supply of food that we could 
obtain. The meaning of this was obvious to me, and in reply I said to them, 
that they had remained with me as long as I could expect or ask ; that they were 
bound to save themselves if they could, and that they ought not to allow me to be 
in their way ; but as they had seen proper to speak of the matter, I would ask 
of them one other favor. I suggested two ways in which they could dispose of 
me, either of which I would prefer to being abandoned to my fate in the con- 
dition and place in which I now was. The first, was to induce the Indians, who 
had visited us during our stay here, to take care of me until they could go to a 
settlement and return ; and the second was, to put an end to my sufferings. They 
cheerfully sought the chief of these Indians, and explained to him what they 
desired to do, and in turn what they required of him, to all of which he appar- 
ently readily assented, and promised faithfully to attend to me and supply me 
with food until they could return. He agreed to come the next morning and 
convey me to his ranch, which was about three miles distant, and situated upon 
the river. 

At the appointed time the old chief presented himself, together with three 
of his men, and expressed his readiness to fulfill his agreement. One of them 
gave me several varieties of herbs, which I accepted and ate, and gave him to 
understand that they were very good. Before taking me, however, they de- 
manded some presents as a compensation for the services they were about to 
render. All the beads and trinkets in our possession were gathered together and 
given them. These, however, were not sufficient, and more were required. Their 
demand for more was repeated, and compliance on our part yielded, until every- 
thing we had, save such things as necessity absolutely required us to retain- 
even blankets that had been allotted to me — were given up to him, in order, if 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 43 

possible, to avoid offending them. At length they seemed satisfied that they 
had gotten all they could, when the chief very cooly turned to his men and bade 
them to return to their homes, he following after them, leaving us to regret the 
folly and indiscretion committed, in reposing too much confidence in a race of 
beings known by all experience to be totally unworthy of it. 

While these preliminaries were being arranged, I was busied in dragging 
myself upon a litter that had been prepared for me. This was a difficult task. 
I could not endure assistance, my leg was so much swollen and inflamed, and so 
exceedingly sensitive in getting upon it. I, however, finally succeeded, and had 
prepared myself to bid farewell, most likely forever, to my companions who had 
so patiently submitted to the great delay to which they had been subjected, 
through the misfortune that had overtaken me, and who had so calmly and quietly, 
without a single murmur, endured intense sufferings. When, however, I saw 
these treacherous villains leave us with their ill-gotten booty, my heart for a 
moment ceased to beat. The first thought that possessed my brain was that my 
fate was scaled — that death awaited me. Either I should be abandoned in these 
desolate solitudes, to endure the gnawing pangs of hunger, and at last to perish 
alone, a victim of starvation, or they would release me from these accumulated 
tortures by shooting me ; for in this light I viewed it, and therefor preferred the 
latter alternative. 

A solemn and profound silence now prevailed with all — a silence which 
no one seemed disposed to interrupt. I turned my face from my companions, 
that they miglit not be embarrassed in their consultation, or in carrying into exe- 
cution any determination that they might arrive at, particularly if it should be to 
relieve me of my sufferings by shooting me. 

The conversation was carried on in a low, indistinct tone of voice, for some 
time. Occasionally detached portions of sentences would reach my ears ; enough, 
however, to satisfy my mind that there was a difference of opinion in relation to 
the course they should now adopt. At length, Wilson's voice rose above the 
rest, saying, "No! I will not leave him! I'll remain with him, if it is alone, or I 
will pack him if he is able and willing to bear the pain !" This terminated the 
conversation, and a few moments after Seabring came to me and inquired 
what should be done. I told him they might pack me to the river, where they 
had hacked out a canoe for the purpose of crossing, and I would then tell them 
whether I could continue with them, and in the event of my being unable to 
endure being packed further, all I had to ask of them was to leave me in the 
canoe to drift whither fate might direct. 

He said, "We cannot pack you, for you have never allowed us to touch 
you even; how then can you bear to be placed upon a horse and packed?" "You 
are not to consult my wishes in the matter," I replied. "If you have decided 
not to abandon me, you must do with me as you will. Much longer delay in this 
place and at this season of the year, may prove fatal to all ; self-preservation, there- 
fore, must demand an immediate resumption of our journey, if it be at the risk, 
and even expense of the life of one." 

Wilson then requested me to select whichever animal I preferred ; I, how- 
ever, chose my own. They now lifted me into the saddle, and spent much time in 
placing me in a position that would give me the least pain. None, however, seemed 
to suit, and I asked Seabring, as a particular favor, to exchange saddles, for I 
■thought his would make me more comfortable, and was certain that it could not 
be worse than mine. They laid me upon the ground, changed the saddles, and 



44 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

again placed me upon my horse. I said nothing, but the agony I suffered no 
language can describe. The exchange of saddles aggravated my misery, but I 
had determined to be satisfied with this, let it be as it would. Seabring led my 
horse down the mountain, and after a long and tedious march, we reached the 
river. Here we camped. 

When the bear that Wilson had killed in the late encounter had been cut 
up and brought into camp, the entrails were likewise brought in, carefully cleaned 
and preserved; the blubber or fat was boiled out and put in these skins and laid 
aside. On resuming our journey these were taken along, and this we were com- 
pelled to drink, as a substitute for other food, before we reached the settlements. 

The next morning I was again consulted, and asked if I were able to con- 
tinue on with them. I replied that as long as I lived, if it so pleased them, I desired 
to have them pack me, and should I die, that they could cut the cords that bound 
me to my horse and pass on. I could not ask or expect them to bury me, for 
there were no tools among the company with which to dig a grave. 

Again was I bound upon my horse and packed until another camp was 
reached, enjoying only an occasional respite, to allow my benumbed limbs to 
recover from the effects produced by being confined in one position for so long a 
time. 

In this manner we continued on, with little or no change in the occurrences 
that happened, for the period of ten days^ — following down the Russian river 
a long distance, and then striking across toward Sonoma. At the expiration of 
this time, we arrived at the ranch of Mrs. Mark West, about thirty miles from 
the town of Sonoma, on the 17th day of February, 1850. Here I remained about 
six weeks, until sufficiently recovered to proceed to San Francisco, and was treated 
with the greatest kindness by every member of the family. 

I must now tell you something of the other four — Messrs. Gregg, Van- 
Duzen, Southard and Truesdell — whom we left on Eel river, and within twenty 
miles of the bay or coast. 

They attempted to follow along the mountain near the coast, but were very 
slow in their progress on account of the snow on the high ridges. Finding 
the country much broken along the coast, making it continually necessary to 
cross abrupt points, and deep gulches and canyons, after struggling along for 
several days, they concluded to abandon that route and strike easterly toward the 
Sacramento valley. 

Having very little ammunition, they all came nigh perishing from starvation, 
and, as Mr. Southard related to me, Dr. Gregg continued to grow weaker, from 
the time of our separation, until, one day, he fell from his horse and died in a 
few hours without speaking — died from starvation — he had had no meat for 
several days, had been living entirely upon acorns and herbs. They dug a hole 
with sticks and put him under ground, then carried rock and piled upon his grave 
to keep animals from digging him up. They got through to the Sacramento valley 
a few days later than we reached Sonoma valley. Thus ended our expedition. 

Some Early Explorations 

It has been only two short generations since the feet of white men first 
touched the virgin soil of the great region now known as Humboldt county. 
It is generally believed that the Gregg party, consisting of Dr. Gregg, L. K. Wood 
and their brave companions, were the first white men to reach Humboldt. That 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 45 

they were the very first of all organized explorers may be conceded without ques- 
tion, but there are strong reasons for believing that the forests were explored and 
many vistas trodden by the hunters and trappers of older and even bolder times. 
These old trappers — men of heroic and somewhat antique mold — were doubtless 
attracted by deer, antelope, elks, and the bears whose furs were of great value 
in those times. It must not be forgotten, too, that the streams were then alive 
with beaver and other fur-bearing animals. 

A glance at some of the conditions of the long ago, as revealed in the light 
of Elliott's oldest history, may not prove uninteresting. Many careful investi- 
gators now believe that the Jedediah Smith party were the first Americans who 
ever entered the limits of the great territory now known as Humboldt county. 
Smith was the first white man that ever led a party overland to California. It 
seems that in the spring of 1825 he led a band of more than forty men into the 
Sacramento valley, where he collected a large amount of furs and established his 
headquarters on the American river, not far from Folsom. He trapped in the 
San Joaquin in 1826. He started, early in 1827, with a bold band of explorers 
and trappers for the Columbia river, passing through what is now Yolo county, 
"up the Cachet creek, and arrived at the ocean near the mouth of the Russian 
river and followed the coast line as far as Umpqua river," near Cape Arago, when 
all of the company of forty except himself, Daniel Prior, and Richard Laughlin, 
were cruelly massacred by a band of Indians. All the stores and furs of the 
company were taken by the savages. The survivors escaped to Port Vancouver 
and told of their misadventure to Dr. John Loughlin, agent of the Hudson Bay 
Company. It was .the policy of the Hudson Bay Company to punish native 
tribes whenever they committed flagrant crimes of this character, so the company 
readily hstened to the survivors and acceded to their request when Smith, as leader, 
proposed to the agent that if he would send a party to punish the Indians 
and recover the stolen property he would conduct that party to the unusually rich 
trapping grounds in the country he had just left. After Smith took his leave on 
Lewis river, Ogden's party continued southwest to Utah and Nevada, and entered 
the San Joaquin valley through Walker's pass. They trapped up the valley and 
then passed over the coast and then up to Vancouver by the route which Smith 
had formerly traveled. 

In the spring of 1832 Michael La Framboise entered the Sacramento valley at 
the head of a party of the Hudson Bay Company's trappers. "They visited 
many streams and forests off Tulare lake and returned by trail over the usual 
route along the coast for Vancouver the following spring." 

Elliott says there can be no other conclusion than that the Smith party 
must have visited Humboldt bay at that time. They could not well have avoided 
it, but as no historian accompanied them, and as their reports were given at head- 
quarters only and in a general sort of way, no definite description is given to us 
of the exact road traveled. But it seems impossible that the party could have 
covered the distances named without passing through Plumboldt county. 

After reaching the mouth of the Russian river it is hardly probable that they 
followed the coast or their route would have led them to some stream bearing 
north, though we must suppose they reached the headwaters of the Eel river 
and thus followed down that stream to the ocean and thence to Humboldt bay. 
These several parties mentioned no doubt tapped the Eel, Trinity, and the 
Klamath river. The Russians were at Fort Ross for thirty years, and it is 
highly likely that they visited Humboldt bay, but this is only a supposition. 



46 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Captain Smith sold his interest in the Rocky Mountain Company in 1830, 
and in 1831 he met death by being treacherously killed by Indians while he was 
digging for water in the dry bed of the Cimarron river near Paos, N. M." He was 
buried there by his companions. This is the last resting place of the first pioneer 
overland traveler to the wonderful valleys of Cahfornia, and of the first American 
who ever gazed upon the grand forests of Humboldt or trod its grass-carpeted 
valleys. But whether these parties actually visited Humboldt bay is not positively 
known, so we must give credit to the discovery party of 1849, whose interesting 
adventures and discoveries have been graphically portrayed by L. K. Wood and 
his companions of those early days. 



CHAPTER V. 

Unique Early History 

Humboldt county's early history is unique in the annals of Californian 
counties in that it is without the slightest trace of Spanish influence. 
Tunipero Serra, the Franciscans, the Jesuits, and all the romance that 
breathes throughout the pages of Southern California's history — these are 
as foreign to rugged Humboldt as if they had characterized ancient Spain 
or the Land of the Lotus Eaters. The galleons of Perez the Majorcan, the 
Santas and Sans, the comandantes and dons, the alcaldes .and the missions 
— all these are realities undreamt of in the most altan parts of Alta California. 

Centuries passed in the North without one influence to disturb the soli- 
tude of her untrodden wilds. While missions for the conversion of the 
natives were being founded by the Spaniards of the South, those persistent 
colonizing bands that sought to Christianize the Indians, the wilds of Hum- 
boldt were given over to the deer, the antelope, the grizzly and their rude 
Indian foes. Elsewhere in California problems of religious, military and 
civil control were being solved generations before the hardy pioneers of 
Humboldt were born. Caspar de Portola, the military and civil governor 
of California, and Junipero Serra, the illustrious father-president of the 
Franciscans, knew as little of Humboldt county as the people of Humboldt 
today know of the heart of Fiji. At the time when Crespi and his associates 
were founding missions dedicated to San Diego de Alcala, or planning 
campaigns for the conversion of the Indians, the Pacific thundered on 
Humboldt bar, hearing no sound save her own dashings. In a sense this 
is not strange, since the great activities of the Spanish in the South were at 
their full height long before the Declaration of Independence was written. 

Such sweet names as Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles (our lady of the 
Angels) and Santa Clara were spoken and known by the world long before 
the .silence of the North was broken by the invasion of white men. How 
young Humboldt history seems when we hark back to Serra and his great 
work in the South — Serra, whose career lay between 1749 and 1784! 

For these reasons there is nothing in the story of Humboldt county's 
discovery and early development which can be explained by referring to the 
growth of other parts of the state. Humboldt was not settled until long 
after the Mexican war, and then only sparsely. Her pioneers were men of 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 47 

brawn, largely from Main and Nova Scotia. The gigantic redwood forests 
demanded special treatment, so the pioneers were recruited from a timber 
country. The pioneers of Humboldt came for the most part from a land 
where almost half the men went to sea, the other half to the woods. It is 
for this reason that Humboldt county, much of which is still a picturesque 
wilderness of mountain streams and tangled wildwood, where bears, elk and 
deer abound, is a virgin field for the historian as well as for the writer of 
romance. Everywhere the background is unique and the story of man's 
ventures is interesting. 

From the rugged coast around Trinidad head to the peaceful horticul- 
tural areas around Etterville and Briceland, the country teems with the 
poetry of circumstance and the thrill of adventure. Much of the unwritten 
history of this part of the state clusters around great names, for scores of 
the early players in the theater of human achievement in Humboldt did 
not go to their last sleep before they had written their names on the scroll 
of fame. 

Humboldt was the scene of General Grant's early military services, the 
place where Bret Harte first dreamed of fame. For a long time it was a 
troubled arena of bloody Indian wars. While the sturdy pioneers were 
carving their fortunes from the primeval forests the red men were not 
strangers to the war dance and the poisoned arrow. 

Now that California's "uttermost west" is about to come into closer 
relations with the world, by reason of the approaching completion of the 
Panama canal, the Humboldt bay jetties, and the Northwestern Pacific rail- 
road. Eureka, the largest city in the United States without a through 
railroad, will take on new importance. The many thriving little towns in 
the valleys, the hamlets in the mountains, and even the lonely cabins of 
himters and trappers will develop new life and activities — but it will be 
the historian who will preserve the story of Humboldt's unique and romantic 
past. It will be the old residents of the county who will aid him to tell how 
the founders struggled through hardships during the noisy years of effort 
that have long ago become the silent years of history. 

The story of the sufferings and trials of the pioneers — the fascinating 
history of trade, transportation, hunting, trapping, lumbering, fishing, manu- 
facturing, agriculture ; an account of the development of schools, churches, 
courts, newspapers ; a description of the daily life of the people — these and 
scores of like interesting features of times long passed away, must prove 
interesting to the children of a later day. 

The resources of Humboldt county are unlimited, and great credit is 
due those who inaugurated the promotion movement that in this later day 
is but the beginning of the development of its wonderful possibilities. In 
leaps and bounds it has passed from a comparatively poor and sparsely 
settled territory to one of great productiveness and wealth. The future 
looms bright, and new conditions are at hand. In spite of this fact, the 
past should not be forgotten. The story of its hardships and conquests 
should be preserved. 

But before coming to a detailed discussion of the history of Humboldt 
coimty it may be well to take a birdseye view of the state as it was less 
than one hundred and fifty years ago. The history of no county can be 
understood without some intelligent appreciation of the development of 



48 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

the state in which it is situated. Let it be understood at the outset, then, 
that prior to the discovery of gold by James W. Marshall, on January 24, 
1848, only small portions of California had been visited by the descendants 
of the Celts, the Anglo-Saxons, and other white races. True, the padres 
had made history for the church of Rome, but their numbers were few and 
their work had lain among the Indians. 

It was the discovery of gold that changed the world's conception of 
Cahfornia. Until then, even the name had no lure. It suggested something 
dreamy, unreal, and far away. In spite of slow methods of transportation 
and tedious delays of the mails the news of Marshall's discovery set the 
world afire. John Carr's "Pioneer Days" gives us the picture of the "gold 
fever." In the winter of '49 and '50 Carr was in Peoria, 111., "ironing off 
California wagons intended to cross the plains the following summer." 
He adds that "at that time the whole West was in a blaze. Everybody had 
the California fever" and everybody who could obtain money sufficient for 
the journey "across the plains" was on his way for the West. It was then 
that California became known to all the world. A few years later the 
Trinity. and Gold Bar excitement led to the discovery of Humboldt bay by 
the Gregg land party, as described by the late L. K. Wood in a previous 
chapter. 

During the five or six years following the land discovery of Humboldt 
bay there was a rapid settlement of the region contiguous, chiefly by mining 
men and soldiers of fortune. Among those who came were scores of the 
pioneer type — strong, brave men and women of character and ambition — 
the class too seldom seen in these softer times of lightness, ease, and luxury. 
Many of the homeseekers were not permanent in their plans, however. 
They were fond of excitement. Mining ventures, the dream of ingots and 
sudden fortune — these were the incentives that moved men. The grear 
Eel river coimtry, the stock-raising areas, and the bay shore settlements 
were undergoing slow changes from 1851 to 1854. There is fine material 
for romance in the annals of these faraway times. Some day a bold story- 
teller will invade this field and give the world a masterpiece. Attorney J. F. 
Coonan, of Eureka, is gathering material for such a tale. 

The wildernesses were being tamed very slowly, for mining activities 
occupied the attention of most of those who first came to the great regions 
in and above Humboldt county. It is for this reason that the transition 
period was one of considerable duration, and the process was far from a 
rapid one. 

Bledsoe tells vis that gold mining was in the full tide of its ascendency 
and it was only in mining communities that the white people were assembled 
together in sufficient numbers for protection against the Indians, who were 
quite savage, and against the inclemency of the winter weather. 

It is evident that the agricultural population was very small. The 
farmers, being isolated, had to be content with difficulties which none but 
the boldest of pioneer spirits would dare to face. It is evident that villages 
were far apart and were separated from one another by high mountain 
ranges, great rivers, and impassable forests. The roads were merely trails, 
and the dangers that faced the pioneers on every hand were numerous. 
Every obstruction which the wildness of nature puts in the way of men who 
desire to tame it here abounded, and every danger attending the conflicts 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 49 

between the savages and the whites was in evidence to deter and discourage 
the early settler. 

Away back in those early days, however, Eureka, Trinidad, and the 
town of Union (now Areata) were quite flourishing. They drew their 
population, which was one of an enterprising character, from the great army 
of men in search of riches in the mines. The mines, it has been said, were 
the great arteries through which the towns drew their sustenance. But 
Bledsoe tells us that many ships laden with articles for the vise of miners 
crossed the bar of Humboldt bay or anchored in the roadstead of Trinidad. 
Long lines of heavily laden mules struggled over the mountains, valleys, 
and marsh lands, crossing rivers and making their way to the Trinity river 
mines. Gold excitement occasioned periodical seasons of rapid growth and 
feverish prosperity, and through it all the times were growing riper for a 
more sober and permanent settlement. 

We sometimes hear of jealousy and bitterness between towns in Hum- 
boldt and other counties, but the old days saw a great deal of this. His- 
torians tell us that there were many seasons of bitter rivalry between the 
sundry towns of Humboldt county and adjacent counties. Trinidad, Crescent 
City, Union, Bucksport, and Eureka each laid claim to being the natural head- 
quarters for supplies for miners and each contended that it would be the one 
great metropolis of the North. 

It is said that this jealousy was very bitter between the three towns 
of Union, Bucksport, and Eureka. Each felt that with impending greatness 
it should have more consideration than the other, and every one of these 
towns desired above all other things the dignity of being the county seat. 
The fight for the court house and jail was one of the bitterest of those days. 

In a general way it may be said that the county was organized in 
18.53, Union being then the county seat. Bucksport and Eureka did not 
give up their rivalry in their battle for the honor for a long time, and a 
contest was begun which resulted in two elections in 1854 to determine the 
relative claims of the three places. 

It is recalled by old-timers that there had never been so bitter a battle 
as that one. Union got the largest vote and was declared to be the county 
seat, but the agitation of the matter continued, the charge of fraud on the 
part of Union township being frequently and persistently asserted. The 
supervisors absolutely refused to build a court house in accordance with 
the wishes of the Union townspeople, and the controversy flamed high until 
it was finally decided by the Legislature of the state, when a law was passed 
\< at the session of 1855-56 removing the county seat to Eureka, where it has 

remained ever since. 

In these times the Indian population was greatly in excess of the white, 
though it was impossible, because of the unstable character of the white 
settlements along the river and gold bearing streams, to make a very close 
estimate of the number of the whites. The Indians had not yei received 
orders from white men to go away from their reservations, and their 
ranches presented somewhat of a permanent aspect. They certainly con- 
tained a more permanent population than could be found in any of the 
towns occupied by the pioneers. Their numbers had not been redviced by 
death and disease, and there were no restraints of their liberties and no 
restrictions on their method of living. The reservation system had not yet 



50 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

been enforced by the Government, nor had the military powers extended to 
them in even the remotest degree. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Gold Mines Lure Men to the North 

The atmosphere of early Humboldt county was that of the true pioneer. 
The early settlers were inured to hardships and accustomed to the difficulties 
of canoe and saddle, of wind and flood. They knew what it was to go to 
bed hungry, to escape from the perils of Indian warfare, to trap the bear, 
and slay the deer. 

But the lure of gold had more than anything else to do with the men 
of 1845, 1846, and 1847. It was Trinity and its pictures of Monte Cristoan 
wealth that caused the bold explorers of 1845 to brave the terrors of the 
unknown North and blaze their way to her rugged fastnesses. 

After all, the search for gold is sure to be the dream of aggressive men 
as long as the present economic ideals obtain ; but one must talk with the 
pioneers of the late '40s if he w^ould understand the overpowering influences 
which moved men in ante-bellum days. Those were times of comparative 
poverty, for the crudest imaginable conditions surrounded most of those 
who lived in rural regions. Homespun and small wages were almost 
universal. Agur's prayer, "give me neither riches nor poverty," had been 
partly answered, for none were rich, but many indeed were poor. Wages 
for common labor and almost everything else were triflingly small, the 
hours of toil were long, and the supply of men for every demand was great. 

In the very midst of these conditions the sleeping world heard of ingots 
in the foothills of California, of glistening gold, the idol of the ages, in the 
creeks, rivers, and sands of California's hills and mountains. No wonder 
that the name California became the magical word that was on every tongue. 

The entire East at once became a supply and outfitting station for the 
bold adventurers, who immediately began to cross the plains in great 
numbers. 

Just here it might be said that so long as man shall covet wealth, under 
an industrial system that makes a bank account the very symbol and pass- 
port of power, the story of the accidental discovery of gold in far away 
California must appeal to mankind with the weird and luring freshness of 
romance, and the detailed accounts of the finding of the first particles by 
the discoverer on January 24, 1848, the history of the smelting that produced 
the first ingots, the memory of the "dust" first used as legal tender — all 
this will ever remain the greatest himian interest story of the nineteenth cen- 
tury — a story rivaling the tales of Sinbad, the feats of Aladdin, the luck of 
Fortunatus. 

Though never a great mining county, Humboldt was brought into 
civilization by the romantic feat of Marshall. The trail of Marshall's fol- 
lowers led to the Trinity, the Klamath, and finally to Humboldt bar, as we 
shall see as the story is unfolded. The Sutter creek romance made an 
empire of a wilderness, turned the heads of sturdy men the world over, and 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 51 

worked wonders with thousands of humble persons. Through that dis- 
covery the lowly were lifted to places of power, and the cap of Fortunatus 
was placed on the heads of many lucky pioneers. The way that the 
discovery of gold lifted many humble men into positions which made them 
famous in the later days is one of unceasing interest. 

The marvel of this entrancing story lies partly in the fact that so many 
generations of gold-hunting expeditions had passed away before anybody 
learned that the earth was filled with gold, as when the first men ate of it, 
according to the legends of Gautama, and found it deliciously sweet. That 
which must have been seen and handled by many generations in California 
still lay hid and unknown up to the time of Marshall's discovery, as it had 
lain unknown and unseen throughout the generations of Spanish conquest. 
From Ximenes, Cabrillo, and their compeers to the days of Marshall and 
the Bonanza Kings, it is indeed a far cry, yet the gold of California and 
Nevada had lain practically undeveloped until the era of the Corastock. 

How wonderful it seems that it remained for a humble millwright to 
discover, quite by accident, in the glittering gravel of a tailrace, that which 
had been unobserved throughout the ages of Spanish civilization — a dis- 
covery destined to revolutionize the history and commercial development 
of men and countries. 

This fact brings us to the influence of that discovery on Humboldt 
county itself. In order to understand the meaning of the claim that 
Marshall's discovery aflfected Humboldt it will be necessary to make a 
brief study of the Trinity gold excitement. 

To Major Pearson B. Reading belongs the credit of leading the first 
band of trappers and explorers into the mining territory of Trinity, in 
Shasta county, in 1847. Reading left Sutter's Fort in the spring of 1845, 
taking with him thirty men and one hundred pack horses. It was his pur- 
pose to trap the streams of California and Oregon. By May he was 
crossing the mountains from the Sacramento river near a divide now known 
as "the backbone," and twenty or thirty miles from there he discovered 
the Trinity river, and supposed that it flowed into Trinidad bay, as it had 
been thus marked on an old Spanish chart. 

The party remained on the river for about three weeks, engaged in 
trapping, but in all that time they discovered no known ledge of gold. In 
June, 1849, however, Major Reading, then a rancher in Shasta county, 
went on an exploring expedition, accompanied by a small party, and made 
a great many examinations of the earth in the vicinity of the Trinity river. 

Gold-bearing gravel bars, which afterwards made the river famous, 
were then discovered. When these explorers visited the Sacramento river, 
the following August, they brought the news of the discovery of gold, and 
the famous rush for Trinity county began. The canyons and rivers of the 
country in the Trinity vicinity were then explored and a regular gold rush 
set in. The search for the mouth of the Trinity then began in real earnest, 
and there was a general opinion that the river discovered by Reading 
emptied its waters into Trinidad bay. 

It was supposed that the best road to the mine would be by way of 
the river from the ocean. Many expeditions were fitted out to find the 
mouth of the Trinity river. The Cameo sailed up the coast in December, 
1849, but had to return to San Francisco with the report that no such place 



52 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

as Trinidad bay could be discovered. Soon after this many contradictory 
reports were received and the Cameo again sailed North, followed in quick 
succession by half a dozen or more steamers. In March, 1850, the harbor 
of Trinidad was discovered by the Cameo and was soon thereafter entered 
bv the Laura Virginia, the James R. Whiting and the California. At 
San Francisco the news of the discovery of Trinidad was received with 
great enthusiasm, and much excitement followed. Soon thereafter a number 
of little cities sprang up in the vicinity of the supposed magical Trinidad bay. 
The old historian tells us that the first townsite located on the bay was 
Humboldt City, named by the Laura Virginia Association in April, 1850. 
After this the towns of Bucksport, Union, and Eureka were established 
and when the survivors of the great Gregg party reached Sonoma, and 
after L. K. Wood had recovered from his injuries and sickness, thirty men 
started to return overland to Humboldt bay. On April 19, 1850, this party 
reached the bay, having occupied about twenty days in the trip from 
.Sonoma. In Mr. Wood's narrative, published some years thereafter, he 
speaks of having seen the Laura Virginia inside and tells how Humboldt 
point was occupied by her party. In the month of April, 1850, Eureka was 
established on the south side of Humboldt bay, and Trinidad, which was 
first known as Warnerville, was located at Trinidad harbor. One of the 
ephemeral little towns of the time, born of mining excitement, was Klamath 
City. It did not last long, being of a mushroom character. Like some 
other little towns of the time, every evidence that it had ever existed has 
been wiped away. 



CHAPTER VII. 
Grant's Career in Humboldt County 

Few persons beyond the borders of California, possibly few outside of 
Humboldt county, know that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, afterwards president of the 
United States, spent a part of the years 1853 and 1854 at Fort Humboldt, in 
Humboldt county, then the most dreary and isolated billet, perhaps, in all the 
United States. D. L. Thornbury has looked into the Humboldt county career of 
the man who afterwards played so important a part in the history of his country, 
and so has Mrs. Clara McGeorge Shields. The author is indebted to the historic 
sketches of these painstaking investigators for most of the facts and for much 
of the narrative presented in this chapter. Old residents and their descendants 
have been consulted, however, but it has been discovered in almost every instance 
that some of the traditions afifecting Grant's private life lack evidential corrob- 
oration, being based on ancient and shadowy rumor. 

It is clear that there can be no error in the main facts concerning Grant in 
Humboldt, for the indisputable records of the war department give the bold 
facts unerringly. Thornbury thus summarizes the salient facts : 

"During the fall of 1853 the war department promoted Lieut. Ulysses S. 
Grant to the grade of captain as a recognition of excellent service in the Mexican 
war, and assigned him to the station at Fort Humboldt, in California. He ar- 
rived about the end of October, 1853, and remained only five months. During 
his stay, there was a great deal of rainy weather which made him despondent; 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 53 

he was unable to agree with his superior officer at the Fort, and his wife and 
children were in the East. He left the county in 1854, having resigned from the 
army." 

These being the conditions surrounding his career in the remotest section of 
the United States, Mrs. Shields is well justified in writing as follows: 

"Grant's stay at Fort Humboldt was one which, in after years, the great 
general must have looked back upon as a nightmare that he would blot from life and 
memory. His memoirs make no mention of it, nor do any of his biographers 
give any account of the five months which he spent at dreary Fort Humboldt, 
the most western garrison of the United States, which was more remote and iso- 
lated in 1853 thaa the sealing stations of the Aleutian Islands are today. The 
fort itself has disappeared. About 1907 the last gray shingle was carried away by 
souvenir seekers and the parade ground was ploughed and platted into town lots. 

"Grant returned to civil life after his services in the Mexican war, although 
retaining his commission as lieutenant. He was married to Julia Dent. One 
child had been born to him and another was expected, when he received orders 
to accompany his regiment, the Fourth United States Infantry, to California, by 
way of the Isthmus of Panama, leaving New York in July, 1852. 

"His financial affairs had not prospered ; he had nothing but his lieutenant's 
pay on which to support his family, and in the uncertainty of the long separation, 
he was obliged to let his wife and child return to her father's home while he 
turned his face westward with every heart string pulling him from the path 
of duty. 

"The future seemed dark. Before him yawned the grave of military am- 
bitions, for buried in an insignificant Pacific garrison, there was little hope of- 
advancement or renown. Worse than time wasted seemed his years of prepara- 
tion at West Point and his term of service in the Mexican war. While his 
meager pay was insufficient for his needs, worse than that to him was the de- 
teriorating effect of a lonely garrison life which might stretch on indefinitely, 
the only escape being his resignation of his commission." 

According to some of those who either knew him or knew the reputation 
he bore at this time, it is said that it was during this period that he sought 
consolation in the flowing bowl and seemed happy only when under the exhilara- 
.tion of a few drinks. That he was not an abstainer seems clear beyond dispute. 
There is grave doubt, however, whether he ever drank to the extent ascribed by 
some of the rumors that have been exaggerated during the last half century. 
A vast amount of cloudy tradition has grown up regarding his stay in Humboldt. 
Some old rumors give him a large family of half-breed Indian descendants, while 
others attribute to him impossible deeds. 

Thornbury tells us that when in Humboldt county Grant was a stout, 
rugged young man about five feet eight or nine inches tall. His nose was large 
and straight, his eyes were firm and steady, and he wore a short, rough sandy 
beard. His face was ruddy and he looked rougher than the common 
West Point graduate of the time. When he had duty at the Fort as officer of 
the day or conducting the drills, he wore the regulation officer's uniform and 
performed his duty as a soldier should. When off duty he usually wore the 
private's clothes consisting of canvas trousers, canvas coat and an old straw hat. 
Socially he was sometimes a hail fellow well met, but he was a better listener 
th^n a talker, and generally a man of reserved habits and was not given to talking. 
He belonged to Company F of the Fourth United States Infantry. Fort Hum- 



54 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

boldt was established in the winter of 1852-53 as a military post for the protection 
of the people of the county from the Indians. As Eureka was small and its 
location then wet and swampy, the fort was located back of the town of Bucks- 
port, which seemed to give promise of becoming the largest town on the bay. 
Fort Humboldt Heights, as the location was long called, is now within the city 
limits of Eureka. The street cars run past the spot, which enables one easily to 
visit it. 

The position of the post is a sightly one, on a plateau thirty or forty feet 
above the sandy beach of Humboldt bay. It is naturally intended for a fortifica- 
tion and gives plenty of ground for parade and drill. The barracks and the 
officers' quarters were erected in 1852 in the usual quadrangular form around 
three sides of the parade grounds, leaving the west side open, and looking out 
toward the Pacific ocean and the bay. 

Fort Humboldt consisted of about a dozen buildings. Three of them were 
of good size and were used as barracks, being two stories high. The smaller 
buildings were one story in height, with porches in front. Grant's quarters were 
the second on the left or north side — one of the smallest houses of all. The 
forests of redwood and fir in the rear made a background to the picture and 
furnished abundance of timber. The buildings were put up by the work of the 
soldiers in the command. Their plan was to build a frame, fill in with logs, then 
weatherboard and plaster inside. The first house was built in this manner, 
but it was found expensive and unnecessary in this climate. A good weather- 
board house, plastered inside, was sufficient protection for the coldest weather. 
Buildings of this latter type were easily worn out and blown down. By the year 
1907 the elements had almost demolished the few ruins that remained, wind and rain 
having proved great destroyers during more than half a century of uninterrupted 
havoc. Eurekans did not realize the historic importance of the place nor the 
great value that the preservation of Fort Humboldt would have proved as a 
tourist asset. For a few years after 1906 one reconstructed building remained 
and was used as a warehouse. Around it were slabs and shingles from the ruins 
of other structures, but these monuments to community neglect were wholly 
obliterated about the year 191 K 

The commanding officer during Grant's time was Colonel Buchanan, who 
was about the only cultivated and refined man there. Most of the soldiers located 
at Fort Humboldt were a rough looking set, and were not respected by the 
settlers. 

Captain Grant reported for duty in October, 1853, and the post thus became 
the scene of one of the early military services of a man who was later to become 
a famous general and a Nation's hero. 

Colonel Buchanan and Captain Grant did not get along very well, and there 
was considerable friction between them. This grew greater as time went on, 
and almost led to a courtmartial. This is probably one of the reasons that induced 
Grant to resign from the army service. It is only fair to say that the salary of a 
captain was low at that time. When the gold excitement was at its height, wages 
of the ordinary laborer were large and the price of food was great. The pay of 
the officer, while perhaps good in the East, was a mere pittance on the Pacific 
coast, so small in fact as to place the officers in the category of the very poor, 
whom any hewer of wood and drawer of water might look upon as unfortunate. 
Tradition states that when he was leaving the county in order to avoid further 
trouble with the commanding officer, he said that they would hear from him 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 55 

afterwards. During the Civil war, Grant, as superior ofificer met Buchanan, then 
hia inferior. He assigned Buchanan some hard work in order to even up the 
scores contracted at old Humboldt. 

The Indians gave no trouble, but were friendly, visiting the garrison and ex- 
changing meat and fruits for flour and hard tack. 

No military expeditions away from Humboldt were undertaken while Grant 
was here. There were practically no roads, and when the soldiers went out, they 
had to cut their own trails. The privates did not have much to do, and the life 
there was rather monotonous. As Grant was an officer, his hours of duty were 
not as long drawn out as those of his subordinates. He made many trips to 
Eureka. 

]n those early days only a mule trail led from Fort Humboldt to Eureka, 
passing close to the marsh, which was then subject to tidal overflow, and along 
under the blufit to what is novv^ South Park. From that place it became a partial 
road to tlie waterfront. Broadway and Summer streets are the modern repre- 
sentatives of this old road. 

Eureka in 1854 experienced a depression in the lumbering and other lines 
of busines<5 and the population was considerably diminished. In all Eureka there 
were not more than four hundred people. The only streets were First, called 
Front, and Second, and these were but three or four blocks in length. The 
timber came down to the very edge of the water, but the trees near the shore 
were scraggly and wind blown. There were but two wharves and three saw- 
mills. The spruce and fir were the only kinds cut, as the redwoods were too large 
to handle. Its wood was not considered worth much. The people were engaged 
in lumbering and there were few women, hence no society to serve as a counter- 
acting attraction to the saloons. Of these there were three or four, the principal 
one being conducted by R. W. Brett, who started one on the bank of a little 
stream that flowed into the bay below the corner of First and F streets. There 
Vv'as but one church and one general store. 

Grant usually hung around the saloons, and he is not to be blamed much for 
this, because they were practically the only places offering recreation, good lights, 
convivial company, and the opportunity for social converse among men. Here 
he would meet friends, sailors, and new arrivals. There were some billiard 
tables and he sometimes amused himself playing at that game. He cared nothing 
for the lower class of women ; the saloons and a game of cards with boon com- 
panions being seemingly his first and greatest love. 

One evening he walked to Eureka, and at one place the road crossed a slough 
which used to run about where Fourth and E streets now are. A large log 
served as a bridge. Across this log for many years thereafter pedestrians walked 
in order to reach the vicinity of Christ Church, the old Episcopal house of worship 
which still exists and stands where it has stood since it was erected in 1869. When 
Grant started to cross the log, a drizzling rain was falling, so he slipped and fell 
into the slough. He at once went to Brett's saloon, ordered a drink, and quietly 
dried his clothing before a blazing log fire. Captain Grant was accustomed to 
ride a mule to Eureka and one night he failed to return to the Fort, whereupon 
a party went in search of him. They found him asleep in a thicket about where 
the alley alongside Christ church is now located. His favorite mule was browsing 
close at hand. 

Mr. Thornbury adds: "These incidents, together with the fact that he 
frequented the saloons, have given rise to many false stories concerning Grant's 



56 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

drinking. In order to have committed all the breaches of sobriety credited to 
hmi by the stories I have personally heard, he would have had to live here four 
years and do nothing else." 

Mr. Thornbury thus concludes his narrative : "Grant was a frequent guest at 
the homes of Dr. Jonathan Clark, James T. Ryan, Captain Maloney and the Duffs. 
He made Duff's place a secondary headquarters, where he often slept. He bor- 
rowed their big roan horse to ride. This animal would just as soon run away 
as not, and that suited Grant. He would ride out into the woods and jump the 
horse over logs and obstructions. The usual course he took was along a corduroy 
road, which lead to a charcoal making camp. This was located at about Seventh 
and G streets, and the charcoal was for the use of the blacksmith shops. 

"Grant also visited the points of interest in and near Bucksport. No doubt 
he went boat riding on the bay, for we are informed that all the officers had 
boats. At one time they took a walk to Buhne's Point and from there looked 
upon the beautiful scene spread out before them. To the north was the expanse 
of the main bay, shut off from the ocean by the low sand dunes of the north 
peninsula, which at that time did not extend so far south, thus leaving a wider 
entrance. To the south lay the lower bay, which is really a big lagoon almost 
entirely enclosed by the sand pits. Beyond the region, five miles away, was Table 
Bluff. To the rear and east were the spurs of the coast range covered with red- 
wood, of which Grant speaks in his memoirs as a 'species of red cedar of im- 
mense size.' 

"Spread out in front to the west and northwest lay the beautiful blue expanse 
of the Pacific, which laps the shores of the peninsulas with its combers and 
white foam. Directly in front was the bar and entrance of Humboldt bay, 
marked by the long swelling breakers coming from two directions — over the 
south shoals and from the northwest. The exact spot upon which Grant stood 
while gazing upon this scene is not now in existence. The ceaseless lap of the tide 
and waves has worn Buhne's Point back for a distance of over two hundred 
""feet. The hero worshiper can only content himself by viewing the same scene. 

"On a hill back of Bucksport still stands a low one-story house formerly 
occupied by the Heustis family. Captain Grant was a guest in this house and 
slept one night in the south room. A visit can be paid to it. The room is twelve 
feet long, ten feet wide and about eight feet high. The window to the south faces 
the Elk River valley. The window on the west overlooks the bay. There is the 
little closet where he may have hung his clothes." 

It might be added that Grant and his regiment came to the Pacific coast by 
way of Aspinwall. Conditions on the Atlantic side, on the old steamer Ohio, 
were crowded and unsatisfactory, while the Aspinwall of that time was a spot 
of plague and abominations. 

Andrew Foote, an old resident of Humboldt county, was the last survivor 
of those on duty at Fort Humboldt while Grant was there. He remembered for 
many years the chaos and terror of the Aspinwall-Pacific voyage. 

No provisions had been made for the arrival of the troops or the journey 
which they must take to reach the Pacific coast. The Panama railroad was 
completed only a small part of the way to the point on the Chagres river from 
whence the passengers were conveyed in boats propelled by native* rowers to 
Gorgona, from which place they took mules to Panama. The government agent 
at Aspinwall had assured the army officials that mules had been secured for 
transportation of commissary supplies and baggage, but on arrival at Gorgona, 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 57 

it was found that no such provision had been made. The price of mules had 
increased far beyond the government contract price and the contractor had failed 
to fill the quota. 

Cholera had broken out at Aspinwall before the soldiers reached that port 
and some of the men had come down with the dread complaint even before 
reaching Gorgona, and during the delay which ensued before transferring to the 
steamer. 

Mrs. Shields has gathered many interesting facts concerning the early stages 
of the voyage to Fort Humboldt. Her narrative is in part as follows : 

"Jungle fever and cholera thinned the ranks terribly, and men and officers 
were panic stricken and demoralized. Amid this fear and suffering, Grant, acting 
quartermaster, was a tower of strength and resource. His superior officers gladly 
allowed him to assume their powers if he took the danger and risks incurred 
with them. He improvised temporary hospitals, placed the men under strin- 
gent rules regarding eating tropical fruits and exposing themselves to the fever 
fogs which arose from the jungle marshes at night. On his own responsibility he 
purchased mules to remove the sick, and, without orders, marched a division 
of men from a death-camp where two-thirds of their number had died of cholera 
and fever, to a more sanitary station, and later to Panama. Mr. Foote asserted 
that many a time Grant took from his own slender purse the money to procure 
care and shelter for fever-stricken soldiers. Amid all this disorder and misman- 
agement Grant performed one kind of service which has never been accredited him. 
He took every means possible to keep a correct account of each death and the 
circumstances surrounding it, as far as could be obtained, and where the bodies 
were buried. These records were sent to the relatives of the dead men. That 
death trail across the Isthmus was studded with soldiers' graves, and relatives 
at home might never have known the fate of their loved ones had it not been 
for the patient thoughtfulness of the quiet quartermaster who kept his head 
when others did not. 

"Soon after the settlement of Humboldt county, differences arose between 
the natives and the aggressive white settlers. A few sharp lessons from the guns 
of the latter impressed the Indian with a wholesome respect for the white man 
and his methods. There was little to fear from attacks on the settlements, but 
to the lone herder, hunter and rancher, the lurking savage was a constant menace. 
A heavy belt of redwood timber encircled Humboldt bay and back of this was a 
large area of grazing land, rolling hills and fertile valleys. Naturally cattle- 
raising became the chief industry of the settler and cattle-stealing a profitable em- 
ployment for the Indians. So great were the depredations that many hundreds 
of cattle were killed and not a few people murdered. 

"In answer to an urgent appeal, the government at Washington established a 
small fort on Humboldt Heights and soon after the arrival of the troops at 
Benicia companies B and F were ordered to this post. The fort was built on a 
bluff" overlooking the bay. Behind it stretched miles of unbroken forests of 
giant sequoias, the dense shade of which was never penetrated by any ray of sun- 
shine. The lofty tops were never at rest. Even in the calmest days of sum- 
mer they were swaying and sighing in dreary sadness, while under the stress 
of wintei gales they would almost scream in madness. A dusty ribbon of road 
ran along the foot of the bluff and beyond it mud flats reached to the waters of 
the bav. 



y 



58 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

"The companies arrived at Fort Humboldt late in January, 1853, Col. R. C. 
Buchanan commanding. In August of that year the death of Captain BHss caused a 
vacancy to fill which Lieutenant Grant was promoted to the rank of captain and 
ordered to Humboldt. 

"In October, the beginning of the rainy season, Grant reached this outpost 
of civilization where, with leaden skies overhead, mud and flood under foot, the 
gray bay in front and the dismal forest behind, with ever the vision before him 
of the cruel miles between him and his loved ones, he took up the petty duties 
and spirit-killing routine of garrison life. 

"Among Grant's associates at the fort were Quartermaster Rundell, Lieu- 
tenants Crook, Collins and Underwood. Underwood was accompanied by his 
wife, and a little son was born at the fort, who was about the age of Grant's 
second son, whom he had never seen." 

Mrs. Shields often talked with Major Howard, an old resident of Hum- 
boldt, who died in 1904, regarding Grant's career in the county. The reminiscences 
are interesting because they throw a light on conditions then existing as well as 
by reason of the future career of Grant. 

When asked for reminiscences, he said: "You must bear in mind that how- 
ever great he afterwards became, at the time of his residence here, he was com- 
paratively unknown except to his military associates. We had never heard of 
him and the only thing that may have attracted attention was the death of Cap- 
tain Bliss and the promotion of his successor. 

' "I lived, at that time, on a ranch two miles from the fort and was acquainted 
with all the officers and they frequently visited my house. The first time that I 
met Captain Grant was early one foggy morning soon after his arrival. Lieu- 
tenant Collins called at my home to borrow my gun to shoot ducks and he was 
accompanied by Captain Grant. Collins seemed to be showing the new comer 
around and making him acquainted with the limited sports of the country. They 
had driven down to the ranch and Grant sat in the buggy while Collins came in 
for the gun. I went out to the road and was introduced to Captain Grant. 
He was an ordinary looking man with firmly set mouth and deep, searching eyes 
that seemed to take me in at a glance and then turned indififerently away. He 
was a very quiet man, in strong contrast to the joking, fun-loving Collins. For 
all that Grant was so quiet himself, I think he enjoyed the lively company of 
Collins, as he seemed to favor his society more than that of any of the other 
officers. 

"There were few amusements at the fort, but sometimes I would receive an 
invitation which read 'Come up to the post this evening to a gutta-percha ban- 
quet.' On account of my young family and their unprotected condition, I could 
not always accept these invitations, yet when I did, the entertainment was quite 
enjoyable. A 'gutta-percha' banquet was so called from the chief article of the 
refreshments, which was a delicacy consisting of small bay mussels pickled in 
vinegar and served in a widemouthed bottle from which they were harpooned with 
an iron fork. 

"Cards was the only entertainment and nothing more exciting than 'Old 
Sledge' was played. On one particular evening the card quartette included Quar- 
termaster Rundell, Lieutenants Underwood, Collins and myself. Grant did not 
play, but reclined on the bed smoking a cigar. He seldom volunteered a remark, 
ye't when addressed always answered pleasantly. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 59 

"We were all laughing heartily at something, I have forgotten what, when 
Grant said, 'Well, boys, you can see a deal more fun in that than I can.' 

"Rundell replied, 'Grant, I am afraid that you were born without a sense 
of humor.' 

" 'Perhaps I was, but that is not the only sense that I lack.' 

''The bed on which Grant lay was something of a curiosity. It was an im- 
mense structure made by one of the men for Rundell, who was six feet, six inches 
in height. The bed was seven feet long and the same in width, having a head- 
board which reached to the ceiling and was carved in leaf and scroll design with 
considerable skill. I afterwards came into possession of the bed and removed it 
to my home, but after I left the ranch and it was in the hands of a tenant, my house 
and its contents were destroyed by fire. 

'The last that I saw of Grant was just before his departure. One morning 
I was going to Eureka and at the foot of the hill where the road turns toward the 
post, I met Captain Grant and Lieutenant Collins. They were in a buggy and 
Grant's face was partly hidden by a high coat-collar. He did not notice my 
salutation which was returned by Collins. I did not know at the time that he 
contemplated a change. I always found him gentlemanly in manner, treating 
all witli quiet courtesy." 

Another old friend and admirer of Grant was F. S. Duff, from whom remin- 
iscences were obtained. At tlie time of Grant's service in Humboldt, there were 
not over two-score houses in Eureka. Mr. Duff owned a sawmill, lodging house 
and store, and furnished the lumber and many supplies for the fort. All the 
officers frequented the Duff home and put up at his lodging house when in Eureka. 
Mr. Duff was one of the very few intimate friends Grant made during his stay 
at the garrison. 

"Many a stormy night when it was too dark to ride back to the fort, did 
Captain Grant share my bed," said Mr. Duff. "I furnished the lumber to build 
many of the houses at the fort and I have enjoyed many evenings with the 
officers there. In fact, it was my usual custom to drive down to the post Sundays 
and dine with them. 

"The officers' quarters and the furniture in them were hand made, rude and 
rough. There was no society in the ordinary sense of the word; hunting and' 
fishing become tiresome even with the most enthusiastic sportsmen, wdiich Grant 
was not. 

"I never heard him complain, yet I could see that he was filled with an intense^, 
desire to.be with his family. One day he lost his wife's ring, which he wore. 
The intrepid soldier, who preserved his coolness in the bloodiest battles, was 
completely unstrung. The next morning half of the command was turned out 
and the parade ground was 'panned' until the ring was found." 

Grant's relations with his commanding officer were inharmonious, to say the 
least. Colonel Buchanan was extremely punctilious and something of a martinet. 
Grant was a plain, practical, thoroughly drilled soldier, and he had little use for 
the fuss and frills of military etiquette. His easy methods and carelessness of 
dress were constant sources of irritation to his superior officer. Little inconse- 
quent trifles of dress and ceremony became ever recurring causes for remarks 
and unpleasantness. Yet whatever faults the critical colonel may have found, 
neglect of duty was not among them. The conscientious performance of insig- 



60 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

nificant duties of a line captain was duplicated when he had the great Federal 
army in his keeping. 

When Grant reached Humboldt he had an octagonal shaped gold piece which 
was called a "slug" and was worth $50. With this he bought a plow and vegetable 
seeds and made a large garden which supplied the post with fresh vegetables. 
Fresh beef was not always to be had, but Grant made a contract with Seth 
Kinman, a famous hunter of those days, to supply the commissary department 
with elk meat. After Grant became president of the United States, old Seth 
Kinman traveled to Washington and presented his old-time friend with a chair 
made of polished elk horns. 

While on duty Grant never forgot to look out for the welfare of his merrr 
He made frequent visits to their quarters, tasting their food and inspecting sanitary 
conditions. The men felt free to go to him with complaints and grievances 
knowing that they would be given a hearing and their claims considered with 
fairness. Mrs. Shields writes : 

"Life at the post was insufferably dull. The Indians gave little trouble and 
months intervened between the arrival of the mails. There were days and days 
of rigid drilling and discipline until officers and men became stalled and wearied. 
Commissary whisky of the vilest kind was to be had in unlimited quantities and 
all partook more or less. The combination of whisky and idleness was followed 
by the usual results. 

"Under conditions like this, trifles became causes of great moment. One 
day Captain Grant went duck shooting in the northern part of the bay some 
distance from the fort. Being absorbed in his sport, he did not notice the 
ebbing tide until his boat was stuck hard and fast in the mud, a distance from the 
shore, and he was obliged to stay there until the next tide released him. Colonel 
Buchanan made his usual fuss over the incident, but Grant simply ignored his 
fretting and bluster. Grant's indifference to the Colonel's scoldings and fault- 
findings was one cause of the friction between the two men. 

"In regard to the cause of Grant tendering his resignation, about which much 
comment has been made, the statements of A. P. Marble, with whom the writer 
conversed before the old soldier's death, reveals Grant in those trying times. The 
old servant denied that there was any special cause for Grant's resignation, other 
than that he was not satisfied with existing conditions. Cognizant of his own 
power and ability, he felt that his life was being wasted. His military ambitions 
were blasted and his captain's pay inadequate for the support of his family. 
Besides, his environments were decidedly unpleasant. 

"Colonel Buchanan was an efficient officer but strict in petty details to the 
verge of absurdity," said Mr. Marble. "I will relate an incident proving this. 
General Crook, of Indian fighting fame, was a lieutenant in Grant's company. 
He was a sweet-tempered fellow, about twenty years old and brimful of fun 
and laughter. 

"One morning Colonel Buchanan was standing in front of his headquarters 
and, looking across the parade grounds, saw Lieutenant Crook standing in an 
easy position with his hands in his pockets. 

"The Colonel addressed me, 'Orderly !' 

"'Yes, sir?' 

" 'Present my compliments to Lieutenant Crook and tell him to take his 
hands out of his pockets.' 



/I 

I 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 61 

"I approached the heutenant and, suppressing a smile, delivered the message. 
Crook was not on duty at the time and with a pleasant smile, he replied, 'Orderly, 
present my compliments to Colonel Buchanan and tell him that my pockets are 
my own.' " 

Mrs^ Shields saw in the possession of Mr. Marble a form of Grant's resigna- 
tion which had been thrown aside by him and picked up by the servant while 
putting the room in order. It probably was a first draught written out and 
discarded, as the wording is different from the one he did send, and it is addressed 
to the commanding officer at San Francisco rather than at Washington. It read 
as follows : 

"April 11, 1854. 
"Major-Gen. John A. Wool, San Francisco. 

"Sir : — I have the honor of tendering my resignation as Capt. of Co. F, 4th 
Regt. of Infantry, U. S. A. 

"Signed. U. S. GRANT." 
The resignation which was sent by Grant was as follows : 

"Fort Humboldt, 
"Humboldt Bay, April 11, 1854. 
"Col., 

"I very respectfully tender my resignation of my commission as an officer 
of the army and request that it may take effect from the 21st of July next. 

"I am. Col, 
"Very respectfully, 
"Your obt. svt., 
"U. S. GRANT, 
"Capt. 4th Infantry. 
"To 
"Col. S. Cooper, 

"Adjt. Gen. U. S. A., 

"Washington, D. C." 
The resignation went to the department at Washington at the hands of 
Colonel Buchanan, was accepted and took eft'ect at the date requested, and soon 
thereafter Grant left for San Francisco, leaving behind him all hopes of military 
glory and a year of wasted life. 

While Grant was in Humboldt county he had two severe attacks of sickness. 
His physician was Dr. Jonathan Clark, father of W. S. Clark, banker and mayor 
of Eureka in 1913. Mrs. Shields thus concludes the interesting story of Grant 
in Humboldt : "It was after the recovery from the first illness that he tendered his 
resignation and he had just recovered from the second when the knowledge of 
its acceptance reached him. 

"When the doctor met him again he said rather sadly, 'Well, doctor, I am 
out,' then added, 'but I will tell you something and you mark my words; my 
day will come. They will hear from me yet.' 

"These words, spoken so deliberately, almost solemnly, impressed his hearer 
as a prophecy. 

"Dr. Clark saw his friend again. When Ex-President Grant made his 
famous journey around the world, Clark made a special trip to San Francisco to 
see his former patient. Grant was in the drawing room of the Palace hotel 
surrounded by a throng of visitors when Dr. Clark entered. The great man 






,r'-\ 




62 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

recognized his friend immediately and came briskly forward, greeting the doctor 
with cordiality and inquired after many of the people of Eureka. Unhappy as 
had been his year at Fort Humboldt, Grant had nothing but the kindest words 
for his associates there and from the pinnacle of his fame regarded them with 
the same quiet kindliness with which he had held them in the dark days of his 
residence at that dreary western garrison." 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Early Troubles With the Indians 

All accounts of early adventures by the settlers of Trinity county, from 
which Humboldt county was made, emphasize the fact that there was much 
mystery involved in the consideration of the Klamath river. That stream was 
supposed by many to be the Trinity river, while others mistook it for the Salmon. 
Its source was long unknown after its mouth had been discovered. The Klamath 
soon attracted a large number of gold hunters, and it was not long after they 
began to come into the country before the Indians along the Humboldt bay began 
to look upon them with suspicion. 

Many of the old timers were really rough and ready men, and were inclined 
to treat the Indians as if they were mere dogs. Suspicious and watchful, the 
Indians magnified all little injuries into much larger ones and entertained a 
number of small grievances. Of course, there were some men of wicked dis- 
position who, being surly and overbearing, did wrong to the Indians. 

One of the characteristics of the Indians is that they cannot particularize or 
distinguish between individuals. The result was that they held all of the 
white men responsible for any injury done to them by any one white man, being 
so constituted mentally that they were unable to distinguish between an individual 
] who had done them wrong and a community of men of the same color of the 
wrong-doer. 

The old doctrine of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth found splendid 
exemplification among the Indians, for if a white man murdered an Indian he 
immediately killed the first white man he caught, not seeming to care whether 
the real culprit escaped or not. It was this habit of the Indians which caused a 
number of the most serious difficulties encountered by the early settlers of 
Humboldt county. 

A few of the old residents of Humboldt county have a keen recollection of 
perilous times with the Indians. Mrs. R. F. Herrick, an aged woman of Areata, 
has a distinct memory of some of the stirring events as late a.s 1859.' In a letter 
which the editor of this history has been permitted to see, she says as follows : 

"We landed in Eureka on November 29, 1859, having a letter of introduction 
to the Rev. Mr. Huestus. We finally found him at Areata, and when we crossed 
the bay and viewed our surroundings we decided to go to the American hotel, 
which was then kept by a Mr. Bull. We then thought Areata was the most 
beautiful place we had ever seen in California. The Plaza looked like green 
velvet, and the dark background of great redwood trees, I think, was the most 
beautiful I had ever seen. I then thought that the Indian name, which means 
a bright or sunny spot, was very appropriate. When I saw Areata first the sun 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 63 

was shining over it. I remained at the hotel while my husband went to look at a 
place near the mouth of Mad river. 

"I did not know anyone in the county, but Mrs. Murdock,. Mrs. Bowles, Mrs. 
Culberg, and Mrs. Minor called and asked me to Mrs. Minor's, where a sewing 
society was in session, and there I made more acquaintances. 

"The tenth of January we moved to the White place. We bought some 
cows and my husband made the first cheese that was ever manufactured in 
Humboldt county, and the firm of Coddington_& Bowles shipped this cheese by 
pack-train to the Trinity mines. 

"I was very much afraid of the Indians, especially one who was known as 
Sore Eyed Tom, a big Indian, who came to my house in a sneaking sort of way. 
All the clothing he wore might be described as a_knife about two feet long 
attached to his neck by a buckskin thong. I was very homesick and lonesome, and 
he came in one day and he said he was hungry and wanted what he called whago 
bread. 

"I had set some of this bread to rise and did not have any baked at the 
moment. I was then paring potatoes, so I told the Indian that I did not have 
any bread ready. He said, 'Too much lie.' That was too much to hear, so I 
forgot my fear and started for him with the butcher knife raised as if to strike 
him. I never in my life saw anyone run so fast as that Indian did. He did not 
wait to open the gate, but jumped over the fence, and as far as I could see him, he 
was running. I was never afraid of Indians again." 

This respected lady says she often went with neighbors to minister to the 
sick. Among others she met one who was known as Cponskin's daughter, who 
was very sick. The Indians seemed to appreciate everything which the white 
ladies did when they carried her up to their house and cared for her and cured 
her. The father was the chief of the Indians. He mixed his blood with that 
of Mrs. Herrick's, which was the ceremony that gave her the right to be known 
as an adopted daughter of the tribe. All the Indians were instructed to look out 
for her and her family. There was at this time no Indian trouble in the county. 

On the second day of February, 'tSS^/.th^e lady heard some shooting and the 
screams of women and children down by "the river. Her husband wanted to 
go down, but it was before daylight and it was believed imprudent to go. 

Men, women and children came tumbling over the fence and on to the 
porch for protection by the household. After daylight her husband went down 
to the river and there found one young Indian man dead at the water's edge and 
an old man lying dead just outside of the house. 

Mr. Herrick told her they were going to bury them that afternoon, and two 
graves were dug just inside of the sand dunes in a green, grassy glade. The 
corpses were tied in deerskins, like mummies. The young Indian had one wife 
and baby. She sat patting the corpse and waiting the death-song to come, a 
pathetic wail that, once heard, can never be forgotten. 

About that time Mrs. Herrick and her husband saw twenty or thirty Indians 
dancing, with war paint on them, and all armed with bows and arrows strapped 
across their backs. Mrs. Herrick told her husband that if the white people did 
not desist from abusing the Indians there would be an awful Indian war. Her 
words proved prophetic. 

We have gone a little ahead of our story in order to give a glimpse of con- 
ditions as reported by Mrs. Herrick. It should be said, however, that what was 



64 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

known as the Klamath War occurred in 1855. It was the first serious trouble 
between any very large body of Indians and the whites, and its origin may be 
traced indirectly to difficulties that had long passed. These were local and per- 
sonal, but they conveyed the intelligence to the mountain tribes that the white 
people were trying to drive them away. 

An example of the superstitions of the Indians is well worth citing. One day 
a captain of the name of McMahon met a few Indians and inflicted chastisement 
on them, by the aid of his company, for some petty thieving and other wrongs 
which they had done. The rancheria of the Indians was inadvertently fired on 
by the troops, and one old squaw was killed thereby. The captain then left with 
his company, and the Indians were very serious, as one might know they would 
have been, over the occurrence. They suspected Robert Walker and three of his 
companions who lived on the Klamath river. ^This was in 1851. 

It was Hot long after this event, which resulted in the death of the squaw, 
before Walker and his companions noted that several hundred Indians were 
holding a pow-wow around his cabin. One grave old Indian came and told 
Walker that it was the belief of the tribe that he and his companions had killed 
the squaw. The Indians proposed to give the white men a fair trial, as they 
said, by taking them up to a place under a certain mysterious tree. A fire was 
to be built near the tree, and if the smoke were to be wafted towards the cabin 
in which the white men had lived it would be a sign from the Great Spirit that 
the men were guilty; but if the smoke were to go in any other direction than 
towards the cabin it was to be a sign that the men were innocent. 

Walker was much surprised, but was a man of cool nerve. He recalled that 
he had often noticed that along toward noon the rising heat was such that a 
breeze always took the smoke from his cabin up toward the hills, so his problem 
was to get the Indians to postpone the trial for an hour or two. He forthwith 
began to entertain them by stories and to delay them by asking a number of 
questions. The chief said he would appeal to Mowena, the Great Spirit of his 
tribe, who would unerringly judge righteously for white men and Indians alike. 
Then, as the hour grew near, Walker said he was ready to go and he knew, he 
said, that the Great Indian Spirit would be just to him and his companions. So 
deeply were the Indians impressed by the efficiency of their fire-tests as a means 
of communicating with the Great Spirit that they quickly went to the cabin and 
tendered their friendship to Walker and his companions. 

The great fire was built and the breezes carried the smoke away from the 
cabin, thereby convincing the Indians that they had made a mistake in accusing 
these men of murder. After this peculiar trial had convinced the Indians that 
they were wrong. Walker presented the spokesman with a lion's skin, and in 
a week thereafter the Indians returned and gave him and his companions a 
present of smoked salmon. These Indians long bore in mind the trial and long 
maintained friendly relations with Walker. Other events, however, served to 
inflame the Indians, who were occasionally imposed upon and cheated by some 
of the worst of the early settlers. Sometimes those who had no authority from 
Uncle Sam would deal with the Indians and swindle them outrageously. 

In the fall of 1852 Colonel McKe^, the government's first Indian superin- 
tendent for California, A\^t7up thie Klamath river with a hundred mules loaded 
with-presents for the Red Men. These presents consisted of beads, knives and 
handkerchiefs of gay and varied colors. Cheap articles of rich color appeal to 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 65 

the natives of the great forest. Colonel McKee, like nine out of ten employes 
of J^e Indian department, had very little knowledge of the Indian character and • 
very little regard for the obligation of any agreement he might make with them. 
It is said that he unloaded his mules and distributed his presents, calling to his aid 
as interpreter the same Robert Walker whose life had been saved by the fortunate 
culmination of the trial by smoke. It is said that a large company of Indians 
flocked into the camp of Colonel McKee and were very much pleased with the 
presents which he distributed. 

I'hese Indians said they wanted to hear his proposal for continued friendship 
and peace with the whites, after which a day was set for the making of a treaty 
which was to be lasting and effective proof of the seriousness and earnestness 
of the friendship. A large number of Indians were present, and then Colonel 
^IcKee, with the pomposity of one high in authority, made a grandiloquent speech, 
telling the Indians that the white men were as many as the leaves on the trees, 
and that if the Keds^did not remain peaceable their property would be destroyed, 
but iT'they remained quiet and inoffensive they would be protected in their lives 
and'property. Jii conclusion, he said he wanted them to be good Indians until he 
could go back to San Francisco and return, and when he came back, which was 
to be in so many moons, he would do more than he had ever done to prove the 
friendship of the Great Father at Washington. 

He turned to "Robert Walker and commanded him to interpret the speech 
to the Red Men. It appears that Walker then had established a ferry across the 
Klamath river, and in order to make it profitable it was necessary to have the 
co-operation of the Indians in time of high water. As when he conceived the 
idea of detaining the Indians in his cabin until the noon breeze should carry the 
smoke from their trial of fire up the river and away from his home, so now 
there came to him another happy suggestion. He would make Colonel McKee's 
speech do a good turn, for he knew the Indians would neither understand nor 
appreciate the 'speech if it were literally translated, so he might in reality do lLo^x^^ 
^Colonel McKee^^ great service by changing it to suit his own ideas. He therefore 
began his translation by saying that the white men in San Francisco were more ^ 

plentiful than the leaves on the trees, and wound up by an assurance from Colonel 
McKee of perpetual friendship, provided that the Indians would take care of 
the ferry until Colonel McKee could go to San Francisco and return. Well, 
Colonel McKee did not return, nor did anybody keep that part of the promise 
which Walker translated into the treaty. Walker having finished his translation, 
the Indians held a consultation and answered that they would accept the proposal, 
whereupon Walker immediately reported to Colonel McKee that his proposition 
was accepted and that the Red Men would be good Indians until his return. 
Colonel McKee appeared to consider that his entire duty was not yet done, and 
he immediately proceeded tolay out a reservation, drawing lines from Weitchpec 
down the Klamath many miles, including a section of country which lies between 
tlielToopa and Klamath reservations as at present located. Having accomplished 
this7he packed up his mules and rode away. And that was the last that was 
ever seen of Colonel McKee. 

The Indians kept their part of the treaty as it was translated to them by 
Walker, sacredly observing their agreement to assist in operating the ferry, and 
were in fact on their good behavior during the four or five months that McKee 
was away,, but when they found they had been lied to, and were firmly of the 



66 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

opinion that Colonel McKee and Walker possibly had been in collusion to deceive 
them, they began to have serious misgivings. 

It would have been easy at this time to have a general war, but there were 
a number of strong-minded Indians who prevented this. One known aa_ Trinity 
Jim, .and another one who was his associate, did a great deal to prevent the 
f" serious outbreak in 1852, when a large number of white persons would have 
J.** been killed and their property destroyed. However, trouble had been brewing 

V^ for a long time, and it was inevitable that there could be no settlement of their 

AJ ■ differences; except a contest for the possession of the Klamath river. ' 

There were many faults on both sides. Many Indians would steal cattle and 
occasionally a murder would be committed, accompanied with robbery and 
slaughter, and in this connection some of the white men mistreated the Indians 
very badly. A terrible murder w^as committed iru the y^ar 1852 on the Klamath "• 
river about twelve miles below Weitchpec, at what was known as Blackburn's 
ferry. A trail had been cut through from Trinidad to this point, and a man 
by_the name of Blackburn had built a ferry there, together with a stopping-place 
^ for settler3. One night when Blackburn and his wife, with five or six tourists, 
were sleeping in their tents, the Indians made a silent and barbarous attack. The 
five men in the tent slept on the floor with their heads outwards, touching the 
bottom of the tent. Silently, with deadly intent^ the Indians crept up and 
tomahawked them from the outside while they slept. They then attacked the 
inmates of the house, but Blackburn was prepared for defense, and while his 
wife loaded one gun, he fired another, thus keeping the Indians at bay until day- 
light. Up in the mountains not far away there was a camp of eight white men, 
and when they heard the firing they went down to the ferry and drove the Indians 
away. It is easy to realize that this was the beginning of serious trouble. Black- 
burn and his wife escaped without injury, but there was a strange and sad 
incident in connection with them. Blackburn had been expecting his father to 
arrive from the East and made preparations to receive him. On the morning 
after the attack on his house he went to a rancheria, owned by supposedly peaceful 
Indians, situated a few hundred yards above on a bench of the moimtains. There 
he found the body of his father, who had been murdered almost within sight of 
the house he had nearly reached. Whether the murderers were ever punished is 
not now known, but a volunteer company of miners was raised and several 
Indians' residences were attacked and burned. This was probably the extent of 
the punishment that the Indians received. It is not known whether the real 
murderers were those who fell under the fire of the miners. 

(Jn 1853-54,') while there was a great deal of talk of Indian warfare there was 
no "general uprising, but many indications pointed to an approaching outrage, so 
that the superintendent of Indian affairs of the state paid some attention to the 
Indians of this section. Colonel Buchanan was stationed at Fort Humboldt near 
Eureka with a portion of the United States forces then doing nothing of special 
importance_or advantage. It was about this time that General Grant had his sad 
and lonely experience in this part of the country. 

In January, 1855," there was much anxiety and suspense among the miners 
on the Klamath and Salmon rivers, for they heard from many sources that the 
Indians were preparing for a general outbreak. The miners were so anxious, and 
in many cases so alarmed, that they deserted their claims and collected at different 
trading posts on the Salmon river. At some points the rancherias were visited 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 



67 



i- 




H L 



and firearms were taken away by bands of whites, while at other points the 
Indians obtained information of the intention of the whites, so their squaws and 
children were sent into the mountains with whatever firearms the warriors present 
did not have to carry with them. 

Another danger which menaced the whites was the practice of certain un- 
scrupulous traders to sell arms and ammunition to the Indians, as well as to repair 
.tlieir guns. Miners at Orleans bar, knowing the great danger from this practice, 
on tlie_sixth day of Januar^Mield a public meeting and pledged themselves to do 
everything in their power to stop the traffic. It was decided that all persons 
detected selling firearms to the Indians should be sentenced to have their heads 
shaved and receive twenty-five lashes and thereafter be driven away from camp. 
It was also decided to make an attempt to disarm the Indians in the vicinity of 
Orleans bar. In pursuance of this object the head men of the rancherias in the 
neighborhood were notified that failure to comply with this request would be 
visited with death to any Indian carrying weapons, and a notice was given that 
all who refused to surrender their arms would have until the nineteenth of January 
to give them up. The Orleans Red Caps and a few other tribes refused to 
give up their arms, and matters stood largely this way until the middle of January, 
when a number of miners organized for the purpose of destroying the rancheria 
of the Red Caps. On tlie same day the company marched to the rancheria and 
demanded its surrender. Thereupon there was a volley of shots which killed 
William Wheeler and Thomas O'Neil and wounded several others. The death of 
these men demoralized the miners, who retreated to Orleans, and immediately a 
mes sen ger was dispatched to Colonel Buchanan, in command at Fort Humboldt, 
risking him for assistance. He ordered Captain Judah and twenty-five soldiers to 
tftc^rene of the difficulty. They^-were-aecompanied by Dr. Simpson of the medical 
stafi:. A party of volunteers on horseback also left the bay for Weitchpec. 

By this time the entire Indian country was beginning to assume a warlike 
attitude. The Indians knew every ravine and mountain path, as well as every 
stream which they could ford. Being children of nature, inured to all sorts of 
hardship and accustomed to a simple life, sometimes going hungry for days, they 
had many advantages over the whites, who were much disconcerted by the swift 
and swollen streams and deep mountain fastnesses that confronted them on 
almost every hand. By this time the Trinidad Indians and those on Mad river 
and Little river began to desert their rancherias for the mountains. Not long 
after this a volunteer company of white men, composed of miners and others, 
killed Tharash, a bad Indian leader of great cunning and boldness. The war was 
now on, for the Indians were stealing cattle, robbing and murdering the white 
men, burning houses and running wild in general. There were at least three 
thousand five hundred of them, about half of them being armed with pistols, 
revolvers or guns. 

Orleans Bar w as-the scene of many— bitter- hostilities, and it was not long 
before two white men were killed and several were badly wounded in that 
vicinity, the Indians_,meantime,ffl:ow4Hg bokler and bolder, and their boldness was 
g^ccompanied by great treachery. Dunham and Proctor were killed while at work 
near Orleans Bar on their mining claims. Lamm and Johnson were wounded 
at the same time and in the same vicinity, the offenders being Red Cap Indians".' 

Captain Judah arrived at this moment and opened negotiations with the 
friendlier of the Indians. He consulted the leaders of the mining men as well, 



68 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

and was of the opinion that peace might be obtained if the parties on both sides 
would Hsten to reason, but the miners were strongly for. war, desiring if possible 
to exterminate their foes. About this time the Weitchpecs surrendered to Captain 
Judah. A company from Union, commanded by Reason Wiley and F. N. John- 
son, arrived at the opportune moment. Peace failed, however, because Colonel 
Buchanan, a man of changing purpose and moods, ordered Captain Judah 
to return to Eureka. By reason of this unwise course an era of bloodshed that 
might have been prevented had Captain Judah been allowed to carry on his 
sensible plan, forthwith ensued. The Salmon river miners, hearing of the 
trouble below, at once joined their Klamath brethren for the purpose of hunting 
the Red Men. The Salmon miners, however, refused to join in an indiscriminate 
attack on all tribes of Indians, as they were requested to do by their friends. They 
said that it would be the height of folly to attack all Indians, whether friendly or 
hostile. Strife arose between the miners because of these conflicting views, and 
this was greatly to the advantage of the Indians. 

Captain Buzelle and his company arrived on January 24, 1855, and at once 
prevented a number of miners from killing peaceable Indians. Capt. U. S. Grant, 
later of Civil War fame, was at that moment at the mouth of the Salmon river, 
where several tribes had surrendered to him. The military men, as a whole, 
Captain Grant co-operating with them, prevented a number of hot-headed men 
from massacring a number of friendly Indians. The same cool-headed military 
men confined the hostilities of the whites to a figJit- against .the treacherous Red 
Caps, who were the leaders of the Indian forces. - 

About this time Capt— F: "M. Woodward and some of his men were led into 
an ambush by unfriendly gviides whom they were obliged to kill. No harm was 
done to the soldiers. Woodward's party soon thereafter killing twenty warriors 
and taking almost as many prisoners of war. 

News of the war had by this time spread throughout the settlements of the 
county, and those living away from the hostilities made up their minds to do 
everything in their power to help the men in the field. Merchants immediately 
opened their stores to the fighters and to the volunteers who passed through Union 
and the other settlements, whereupon long pack trains of mules began to carry 
provisions to the mines. Mining was then a very risky business and was almost 
abandoned, for there was no safety whatever for the men engaged in it. Nobody 
could travel or work without the aid of armed guards. About this time some 
malcontents attacked a rancheria of friendly Indians and killed a number of 
them. This was a deplorable event. Some miners and others on New river, 
moved by a motive that surpasses our comprehension at this late day, and which 
the people of that time could not understand, sold firearms to the Indians, thereby 
causing the death of many brave pioneers. The events following may be briefly 
summarized in paragraphs as follows : 

'I3 March was a hard month of rain, snow, and heavy floods— no hope of relief 

) from the^ governor or from the superintendent of Indian afifairs. Both were in- 

dififerent. No representative of either the State or the Nation was on the ground 

to speak with authority, or nobody had been appointed to succeed Captain Judah. 

Volunteers remained close to camp-only a little desultory fighting-occa- 

were klned ' °' "'"''' '" ^'"^'"''^ P°'^'^°"^ ''''' ^"^^^^^ ^"^ *e miners 



/w 



^ 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 69 

T-he Hoopas and Weitchpecs, also some other Indians, offered to help the 
.whites in their contest with the Red Caps, if the white men would protect the 
. rancherias of the Indians while they were engaged in the warfare. 

>^^^ April brought good news.._ F. G. Whipple was appointed Indian agent and 
he proved to be a man of consideral^le ability, and was honest. He was influential 
enough to have the commander at Fort Humboldt reassign Captain Judah to the 
command in the Klamath. The Indians believed in him, because he was a man 
of influence. He called a council of the friendly Indians and decided to do all 
he could to help the whites. 

By this time only about fifty Red Caps were left, but within twelve or four- 
teen days sixteen of them surrendered. Unfortunately, Captain Judah was again 
ordered to report to Eureka. It seems that a very curse of recalls followed this 
able man's footsteps. Captain Jones succeeded him, and Jones proved to be a 
very good man. He and Whipple at once started the Klamath reservation plans 
which proved successful for a time. The Red Caps, much reduced in number, 
consented to live -on the reservation and were glad to accept reservation life as 
a good escape from the harassing position into which the whites had forced them. 

The miners, too, rejoiced because they were able to return to the bar and 
pursue their vocation without the danger of being killed. 

^-eiJ3y 1856 the military authorities again showed signs of great negligence, and 
the. .Klamath- tribes, growing restless under superstition, began to grow hostile 
-again. They were swayed by superstitious beliefs of all kinds, and their imagina- 
tions were inflamed by reason of a number of earthquakes which then occurred. 
There was some excitement in the Hoopa Valley at this time and the reservation 
began to give evidence that it would be a complete failure. 

The Hoopa Indians were all good shots. There were two hundred of them/^ 
and it was the general opinion that they were more than the equal of any two 
hundred white men among the miners. Various tribes began to grow restless 
and hostile. For this reason a number of white families became so alarmed that 
they left and made their homes nearer the settlements around the bay. About 
this time a few cattle were killed by the hostile Indians at Angel's Ranch. 

Soon after this Captain Snyder was sent up to the Klamath to pacify the 
Indians. They had confidence in him and he explained that the white people 
desired to know that the restlessness of the Indians did not presage a general 
outbreak. The Indians soon surrendered a number of guns to him, and peace 
was assured for a long time. In August there was a little uprising on Redwood 
creek, but it did not amount to very much. 

Occasionally Indians were flogged for stealing or some other little offense 
of that kind, though some of the bolder pioneers, even then, would have hanged 
them to the first convenient tree. The whites were often in a perilous position 
because there were so few of them, also because the Indians were numerous and 
restless, appearing to be eager to exterminate their foes. 

The Indians often tried and sometimes succeeded in ambushing and even 
killing the settlers. The settlers, however, were rather wary and often escaped 
from being slain by using their brains and avoiding the snares of the Indians. 

A number of atrocities occurred here and there during those times — notably 
one or two in the Eel River A'alley country. David and Adolphus Cooper were 
slain by Indians and their bodies were mutilated by the wolves, for example. 
They were two of a family of five brothers who had come from Canada and who 
had trusted the Indians a little too far. 



70 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

We cannot pause to give a minute description of the trying events of those 
times, and must hasten on to matters of more importance. 

We might take a little glance at the conditions surrounding a bold tribe 
known as the WiTi-toens. They were a desperate race of hardy Red Men who 
peopled the Bald Hills country and thronged in places remote from large streams. 
Bledsoe, the entertaining writer of Indian warfare, tells us that the Win-toons 
were a hardy race subsisting on game and nuts. As their principal occupation 
was hunting, unlike the lower or valley tribes who lived on fish, they early 
became accustomed to the use of firearms and were very clever shots. Even 
before Dr. Gregg and his notable company ascended the Trinity river there were 
a few guns in the possession of the higher mountain tribes of Indians, and when 
the valley Indians were using them ignorantly and with poor effect the Win-toons 
had become proficient in their use and this was anything but encouraging to 
travelers along the lonely trails. 

It may have been that their early acquaintance with the white men induced 
them to remain friendly as long as they did, for as long as they were friendly 
they could obtain firearms, also whiskey. For several years after the Klamath 
war they committed occasional depredations on the property of stock-raisers in the 
Bald Hills country, and when they saw their old hunting grounds deserted by 
the deer and the elk, the devil that is naturally in an Indian's composition began 
to assert itself. Revenge was sweet to the savage, no less than to the civilized 
man, and with a blind fury, characteristic of the race, theirs was then cruel and 
atrocious. 

About this time several men were murdered in the mountains, one on 
Trinity trail near Grouse creek. This was a murder of a very heinous character. 
About July 1 three companies volunteered to go out after the Indians on JR.edwood 
creek and the upper Mad river, for they had been acting in a very hostile manner, 
having attacked a Grouse creek rancheria. Murderous white men were also on the 
rampage in the wildest way imaginable. They had shot several Indian boys, also 
others, and were in the habit of looking upon the Indians as their legitimate prey. 
Unfortunately they were men of so_depraved a nature that they had no 
respect whatever for the~inghTs of the primitive inhabitants of the forest. They 
hunted down good looking young squaws as if the squaws had been mere animals 
created for their own enjoyment, and often forced these young women to submit 
to their passionate desires. A number of half white children resulted from these 
forays of the men who thus violated Indian maidens, who were often regarded 
as worthless creatures except for rapes of this character. It is said that bands 
of white men, consisting of three or four depraved wretches, would often catch 
a young squaw or two and detain them for several days or weeks at their cabins 
and then permit them to make their way home as best they could. 

All this naturally inflamed the Indian's desire for revenge and many murders 
of white men followed in the guerrilla warfare that resulted from this conduct. 
The Indians began to plan asT)est they could to circumvent their white foes. There 
were many lonely trails and canyons, veritable death traps, into which the Indians 
often lured their foes. 

While citizens were raising many volunteer companies for the purpose of 
attacking the Red Men, the Indians were far from idle. Mass meetings were 
being held among the white men at Union, but meetings in the woods were being 
held by the Indians. While the white men were discussing the question of 
extermmaJtmg the Indians, the Indians, on the other hand, were discussing the 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 71 

question of harassing the whites. At Union the sentiment for a time was that 
the only hope was in the total exterminatroh of'the _In.diaris, but the Win-toons 
were also busy, and the plan to exterminate them seemed one that could not be 
carried out. 

The unprovoked murder of one Paul Boynton inflamed the white men and y 

stirred them to action. About this time people were aroused by rumors of /o^^''/ d^^ 
atrocities and decided to go along rational lines of warfare. Forty -eight soldiers 
arrived^rom Fort Humboldt and this, unfortunately, checked the popular move- 
ment against the Indians and the entire result proved later to be rather disastrous 
to the whites and was in the nature of fuel added to the flames. 

Governor John P. Weller, sitting at Sacramento in comfort, was slow to 
act. A. Wiley, then editor and publisher of the Times, pleaded for help and 
showed the necessity for action, but even then the Governor did not call for 
volunteers, nor did he seem willing to do anything to help the settlers in the 
Northwest. Fort Humboldt^ strangely, was equally slow and sleepy — -a mass of .^ 
inactivity and stupidity at Sacramento and the same at Fort Humboldt. 

Here a peculiar event occurred. Suddenly news came from some Indian 
that a horrible massacre had occurred. It was reported that hostile Indians had 
murdered many families of peaceable Indians in the Mad River country and 
that the tribes of Indians friendly to the whites were in great danger. It was 
reported that the women and children of the peaceable tribes were wholly at 
the mercy of the more ferocious of the Red Men. The people of Union and the 
surrounding country at once began to hunt everywhere possible for firearms, 
desiring to go to the aid of the Indians, but just as the settlers were about ready 
to go forth to rescue the friendly Indians it was discovered, by reports from some 
ranchers and others, also by news from a scouting party, that there was nothing 
in the story. It was either a joke or a lie started by a few stray Indians. .Stories 
of this character were frequent and the ^piiblic was often excited by all sorts of 
rumors. 

Finally, after a long period of warfare which we cannot describe more 
fully here, the war came to an end. Hard pressed and half famished, the Win- 
toons w^re forced to surrender, but not until many lives were lost on both sides, 
general Kibbe- and his troops liad sufifered terrible hardships for five and 
a half months. The settlers and the state owed them much, for they came to 
the rescue many times when it was believed that little help, if any, would be 
afiforded to the settlers. The state of California finally paid them $52,000 as a 
mark of appreciation of their services. The Win-toons went, to their reservation, 
but did not remain there long in happiness. They began to feel the call of the 
wild and the desire to rove. They grew weary and began to desert the softer life 
of the reservation for the high country in the movmtains, their native environment. 

As the situation developed the outlook for peace became more and more 
gloomy, for it was evident that neither the army nor the state would master the 
situation with any degree of celerity ; but the effective work of Kibbe and his 
brave soldiers had now become only a memory. True, the Win-toons and others 
had been brought under the power of military force, and they knew that the 
military forces were strong when well directed, but the Indians were beginning 
to-learn how to fight with their foes and they grew bolder as time wore on. 

A strong force like that which General Kibbe commanded could have sup- 
pressed the uprisings which were now inevitable, but the delay in paying volun- 
teers, owing to the sleepiness and redtape at Sacramento, had had an evil eft'ect 



72 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

on the people and had warned the volunteers not to rush in where angels might 
fear to tread. 

About this time some of the_bolder Indiajis b_ega £to comrnj t^^nurdersJiT^Jhe 
Mattole valley and elsewhere. It waTliot long after this until theblankets, 
alnimmrfiotrancr arms^oTthe murdered men were found on a rancheria and several 
Indians confessed that they had committed the deed. The case was one of 
peculiar atrocity, foi^the bodies of the murdered men were chopped__up__and 
thrown into the surf. 



It was evidenfTliat the only way that could be devised for rectifying these 
conditions would be for volunt eers of the pioneers to go after the India ns without 
any hope of assistance or reward trom tne stated i he news ot these events spread 
throughout the county and caused a great deal of excitement, especially as the 
stories were exaggerated as they were passed along. 

By the beginning of February, however, there was a strong organization to 
go out and fight the Indians, and it was manifest that the Red Men were to be 
met with great firmness. In vain the volunteers appealed to Sacramento for 
arms, but no requisitions from the people in the lonely outpost of Humboldt were 
honored by the Governor at Sacramento. Not only was no attention paid to the 
petitions and the earnest oral requests, communicated by travelers who chanced 
to reach Sacramento, but the war claims, for some mysterious reasons, were not 
paid. Citizens who had rendered valuable services and furnished supplies in 
good faith, and where every consideration of honor and of public policy should 
have prompted Congress at Washington to make necessary appropriations to 
cover the losses, were doomed to disappointment. It is no wonder that Bledsoe 
tells us that the farmers and settlers, hemmed in by innumerable difficulties, 
exasperated and maddened beyond control, were prepared to sanction the most 
desperate enterprises if they contained even the slightest promise of relief. 

Those who live in Humboldt county today, isolated though it be, can have 
no appreciation of the terrible difficulties that confronted the pioneers of the first 
ten years in the history of Humboldt county. It was about this time that one 
of those mysterious leagues which are sometimes formed by civilized man was 
hatched and began to plan its awful work of destruction which was fated to be 
executed upon the Indians. It will be best to speak of this briefly and to say 
that on Saturday evening, February 25, 1860, the most remarkable massacre ever 
known in Humboldt county occurred on what was then known as Indian Island, 
being now known as Gunther's Island. More than two hundred Indians of all 
ages and of both sexes were engaged in worshiping, dancing, feasting, and enjoy- 
ing themselves. Sometime during the night their stealthy foes, maddened beyond 
all imagination by knowledge of the treachery and continuous warfare that had 
harassed them, went to the island and killed every Indian there. When the sun 
rose on the morning of February 26 its bright rays shone on a scene of death and 
desolation. Old men and women lay dead with their heads split open or their 
hearts pierced with daggers or bullets, while by their side, young in life's great 
battle, boys and girls alike lay peacefully sleeping in the sleep of death. Terrible 
was the destruction which had fallen upon all these for the crimes that had been 
perpetrated during the year preceding. 

At other places throughout the county simultaneously similar deeds of 
violence had been perpetrated upon the Indians. At last the white men had 
become more barbarous than the savage, and every member of the mysterious 
league had sworn to keep the secret until his death. In the years that have passed 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY IZ 

no lip has ever whispered the story of the great massacres which then occurred. 
This deed excited great condemnation among a large class of the white people, 
but it stirred the Indians to the very depths of revenge and destroyed every hope 
of peace at that time. In the three massacres which then occurred more than 
three hundred Indians met their death, and the news of the uprising of the whites 
soon spread throughout the county. Immediately thereafter the county grand 
jury tried very hard to ascertain the names of the persons who were responsible 
for the killing of the Indian children and women, but their reports concluded that 
after a strict examination of all the witnesses nothing was elicited to enlighten 
them as to the perpetrators. They expressed their condemnation of what they 
called the outrage and regretted that their investigations met with a result so 
deplorable and absolutely void of facts. 

Three months of trouble and Indian warfare quickly followed in the wake 
of these massacres and some of the most terrible of all events of those times were 
then perpetrated by both sides in this warfare. It will thus be seen that the year 
1860, while it was one of war for the nation, it was one of a peculiarly atrocious 
war for the people of Humboldt county. At no time during the year was there 
anything like an abatement of the difficulties which had so long confronted the 
settlers — difficulties of the character which have been described in these pages. 
The Indians began to leave the reservations for the Klamath country, and those 
in tiie Hoopa valley showed signs of dissatisfaction. Evidently there were many 
conferences among the Red Men and they had decided to do all they could to 
harass and avoid the whites. It was not long before hostile tribes throughout 
the county were on the warpath in deadly earnest. A veritable reign of death 
followed. Many murders were committed during the last half of the year and 
they left a profound impression on the people. The community was startled out 
of any idea of peace that might have been entertained at the beginning of the 
year, for the Indians had entered on a fanatical attempt to exterminate the white 
people or drive them from the settlement. This naturally caused the people to 
hold mass meetings and take more active measures against the Indians. A two 
years' war ensued and many bloody deeds characterized this fighting. The 
Hoopas were the leaders in the fight on behalf of the Red Men, and Captain 
Flynn of the United States Army has been given the credit for leading the first 
actual engagement of the war, which occurred a few days before the massacre 
at Stone Lagoon in April, at a place called Big Ben, on the North fork of Eel 
river. 

There was a notable raid at Trinidad, a terrible battle at Redwood creek, 
and a number of engagements between scouting parties and Indians followed. 
The mountaineers were the most active of the whites in pursuing the Indians at 
this time. They had enough to do when pack trains had to be escorted across the 
mountains and houses had to be guarded, for swiftly moving bands of savages 
had to be trailed over deserted hills and through dangerous canyons. The moun- 
taineers proved themselves to be very effective, and it was through their able 
battling with the reds that victory finally came to the white men. August and 
September brought desolation and death to the whites and reds alike in the 
vicinity of the Trinity mines. Bledsoe's history gives a wonderfully interesting 
account of this two years' war, and the reader who may be interested is referred 
to it. Not only so, but Bledsoe's wonderfully interesting volume should be con- 
sulted by any person desiring to know more minutely the facts concerning the 
Indian wars of the northwestern part of California. 



74 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

We have given the foregoing account, with some local color, simply to give 
the reader a general idea of the conditions which confronted the pioneers who 
founded Humboldt county. In conclusion it may be well to give a view of the 
ideas entertained by those who have given careful consideration to the Indian 
question. 

It is the opinion of a number of investigators and men who have had a long 
and intimate acquaintance with the pioneers that the wars with Indians were 
caused very largely by the overbearing and criminal conduct of a comparatively 
few men. It is said that one of the most flagrant of the early incidents which 
led to the war was that of a man who attempted to assault a beautiful young 
Indian woman as she was going along with her boy. He allowed his passion 
to get the best of him and demanded that the woman yield to him. She refused 
and her son clung to her garments, whereupon the bully, made angry by the 
outcry of the boy, shot him down by his mother's side, after which he proceeded 
to carry her away to his tent. After this her people killed an ox and did some 
other deeds in revenge, and it was not long before the community was in an 
uproar. In speaking of these early Indian troubles, J. Ross Browne says : "I am 
satisfied, from an acquaintance of eleven years with the Indians, that had the 
least care been taken of them, these disgraceful massacres and wars would never 
have occurred. A more inoffensive and harmless race of beings does not exist 
on the face of the earth, but wherever they attempted to procure a subsistence 
they were hunted down ; driven from the reservations from the instinct of self- 
preservation ; shot down by the settlers upon the most frivolous pretexts, and 
abandoned to their fate by the only power that could afford them protection." 
The massacre of the Indians still continued, and in February, 1861, thirty-nine 
Diggers were killed by the settlers on main Eel river above the crossing of the old 
Sonoma trail. A few settlers at Kentinshaw, at the beginning of the winter, in 
order to avoid danger to their stock from snow, moved down on main Eel river 
at the point named. Not long thereafter some of them returned to look after 
their houses, and found that the Indians had destroyed all of them. Thereupon 
a company started in pursuit of the offenders, taking along some friendly Indians 
to assist them. They found the band that committed the damage and killed the 
Indians, to the number stated above. The Indians at once retaliated as best they 
could and the settlers were driven from the interior. It was estimated that nine 
thousand head of cattle were killed by the Indians. Another war was at once 
started in which local volunteers participated. 

For many years, it is evident, that the Indians of the state in general were 
abused and defrauded of their natural rights and sometimes cheated out of 
government bounties. Their domestic happiness was disturbed by lawless adven- 
turers, and they were driven from tlieir favorite fishing grounds and hunting 
places under a pretense of Indian hostilities, when the primary object in some 
cases was to get possession of choice locations and obtain money from the govern- 
ment for quelling disturbances. This statement will not apply as an indictment 
against the whole or even against a very large part of the early settlers ; but 
it is known that there was a large number of unscrupulous men who acted as 
here indicated. It is not strange that these encroachments upon the natural rights 
of the Red Men aroused their passions and inflamed their savage nature into a 
veritable fire, until they were driven to become dangerous foes to the white race 
and forced to cause much suffering. For a long time they retarded the growth 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 75 

and prosperity of the country, but it has been a good many years since there was 
any outbreak. 

A httle glance at the reservation question will show that under the act of 
Congress passed in 1864, it was provided that not more than four reservations 
should be set apart for Indians in California^ and that these would be under 
two superintendents. The Hoopa valley, in Humboldt county, was of course one 
of the settlements. 

Congress, in July, 1868, authorized the abandonment of some Indian farms 
on Smith river in Del Norte county and removed the Indians to the Hoopa valley 
in Humboldt county. A resident of Humboldt county was employed, being an 
experienced mountaineer, well acquainted with the routes, to bring the Indians 
to the reservation in Humboldt county. 

The Hoopa reservation has an area of about thirty-eight thousand acres, and 
the valley is estimated to contain about two thousand five hundred acres of arable 
land. With the assistance of the Smith river reservation Indians, through sys- 
tematic and expert operation, a large crop of grain and vegetables was raised 
in the valley soon after they came there. The reservation was under a fine state 
of cultivation almost immediately and the government report indicates that it is 
now one of the best in the country. Where all was once bloodshed and consterna- 
tion, peace and plenty now prevail. Those wars and those times are now only a 
memory, yet they are a part of history. 



CHAPTER IX. 

Life and Times in the Early Fifties 

One of the first things that impresses one who talks with an intelligent 
pioneer of '49 or '50 who retains a vivid recollection of "the days of old, the 
days of gold, the days of forty-nine" is that he was in the very morning of life 
when he crossed the plains or rounded the Horn. The picture of a company of 
young men, each a bold soldier of fortune, is the inevitable impression left on 
the investigator after interviewing a pioneer, whether he came to Sutter creek in 
1849 or to Humboldt county in the early '50s. 

John Carr gives a vivid account of those who were his associates in those 
times, in his entertaining Pioneer Days in California. He tells the reader that 
he was always amused when he read the wholly incorrect accounts of pioneer 
days, as set forth by writers of later years. Their story books and newspaper 
articles were often illustrated by woodcuts of "rockers" and "long toms," while 
the portraits or cuts of the miners themselves were such that he sometimes 
imagined that the miners must be disturbed in their graves. It will be interesting 
to quote him, thus: 'T someiimes think that, if it were allowed to the spirit of 
man to come back to this world, some outraged miner who sleeps his last sleep on 
the mountain side, or in the flats of California, would rise from his grave and 
haunt the artist who drew such caricatures of the early Californian miners. Most 
of the miners that I see in the woodcuts appear to be old, haggard looking men, 
with bent backs, slouch hats, and wrinkled faces, more like the picture of the 
tramp of 1890 than the honest miner of 1850. 

"As a rule the first immigrants that came to California were young men — 
the very fiower, physically speaking, of the United States ; and the pictures in 
the modern woodcuts no more represent them than they do Chinese. It has been 



76 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

my endeavor to give a correct history of the times and doings of the men and 
women of the past who were the pioneers of our civilization and who planted 
American manners, customs, and laws in the great state of California." 

The sturdy young men who blazed the way for civilization in Humboldt 
county met with many hardships among the Indians and beasts of the forests. 
Not only so, but they had almost no social life. There were neither women nor 
children in the North until 1851, when Mrs. Joseph Ewing, long thereafter a 
resident of Eureka, had the honor of being the first woman to arrive in Trinity 
county. She became popular with "the boys" and was looked upon as the mother 
of the camp. She and her husband started the United States hotel and were 
followed by Richard Johnson and his wife, who lived for many years in the 
Bear River country. They also started a hostelry which they called Sidney Mill. 
Boys were also a rarity. The writer remembers talking with an old man of 
the name David Dean, a resident of Freshwater, who said he was the first boy 
who ever saw Eureka. He came from the East with his parents when very young. 
''I attracted as much attention as a circus," he said, "as some of the men followed 
me around as if they had never seen a boy before. They all treated me well." 

There was a rude form of justice, accompanied by force. It seems that 
about until the summer of 1851 nobody paid much attention to either politics or 
civil law. The miners made their own laws, civil and criminal. It seems that 
the Legislature of '50 and '51 passed the act creating Trinity county. Carr tells 
us that Shasta county was then the most northerly county of the state, and very 
little attention was paid to the state laws there. Under the act creating Trinity 
county, the whole of the territory embracing Trinity, Humboldt, Old Klamath 
and Del Norte,- was embraced within the limits of Trinity. Nobody cared much 
about nor paid much attention to the act of the Legislature until the middle of 
the summer, when a crowd of men were seen riding into Weaverville by the 
astonished natives. 

Mr. Carr says : "They did not look like miners, and looked too honest to be 
gamblers. The query was, 'who were they?' We were not long in suspense, 
for they announced themselves as candidates for the offices of the newly made 
county of Trinity. They were residents around Humboldt Bay." 

It seems that Blanchard ran for county judge, C. F. Ricks for county clerk, 
John A. Whaley for assessor, Tom Bell for county treasurer, Dixon for sheriff, 
John A. Lyle and John H. Harper for senator, McMillan for the Legislature. 
The list was almost complete. It was then that Mr. Ricks began his memorable 
fight for the county seat. He was anxious to get the vote for Eureka, and Whaley 
for Areata or Union Town, as it was then called, made the other fight. Buck- 
sport had many friends, but it did not amount to very much in the contest. 

It is interesting to go back to those early times for evidences of the social 
life and economic conditions in general. It seems that in those early days the 
United States mails were very uncertain and very costly, but whenever new mines 
were discovered or a new camp was located it is said that some enterprising person 
would go around and obtain all the names of the people in the camp. Soon there- 
after he would start a pony express and it was not much trouble to induce each 
man to take some kind of a newspaper. It is said that the Western men would 
usually take the Missouri Republican or the Louisville Courier- Journal, while the 
Eastern men took the New York Herald or the New York Tribune. The news- 
papers sold for fifty cents each, and the postage on each letter was $1. Men did 
not begrudge the $1 and were glad to receive mail at that price. It is said that 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 77 

one could seldom go into a miner's tent or cabin without finding some of the 
newspapers mentioned. 

The houses of those times were very crude. From four to six men were 
usually found in each habitation, and the same number were usually present at 
each "mess." Honesty was the rule, the only trouble, or almost the only trouble 
about property, being the theft of small articles now and then by wandering 
Indians. It was this habit of stealing among the Indians, in part, which caused a 
great deal of bitter warfare in later years. 

It was common to see stray horses and oxen wandering around camp. Some- 
times they would upset the unprotected barrels of sugar and flour, or play havoc 
with the food, much to the amusement or disgust of the miners, according to the 
plentifulness of the aforesaid articles. But as there was generally a great scarcity, 
the funny side of the situation did not appeal to the miners until some years 
thereafter. 

The single house of a miner, often situated near a spring or creek, was 
frequently the forerunner of a town. Those houses were hardly worthy of the 
name, being crude and having no floors except the earth itself. The beds were 
usually made of logs, which were squared so as to be comfortable, and lined 
with gunny bags or potato sacks. Fern leaves and hay were frequently used to 
spread over the log and soften it for a bed. The covering was of blankets, and 
on this the miners were rather comfortable and would have remained so but for 
the habits of those who did not use sufficient water and precaution with them- 
selves, for which reason many of the camps were infested with vermin. 

One of the comforting features of those houses consisted of large fire-places, 
which, in cold weather, always had roaring fires. They were built usually 
of granite or slate and were very capacious, being at least six feet wide. This 
great size enabled them to accommodate good sized logs and saved the miners 
and others of the camp from cutting the wood very short. 

Frying pans were frequent and flapjacks were common. The camp men 
frequently took turn about as to the cooking, or frequently one who was more 
good-natured than the others, or who was an expert at the culinary game, presided 
as cook. When a man would act as cook he was usually given good service by 
the others, who would bring him water and do the washing of the dishes. Some- 
times it was a great problem to flnd good food aside from the flapjacks and 
hardtacks of old times, but frequently quail, rabbit, coon, squirrel, deer, and hare 
were found. At times the meat was so scarce that miners, feeling a great desire 
for it, would eat coyote or even in some instances, a hawk. This condition was 
rare, however, and few of the old-time miners can recall times so hard as this. 

One of the great perils in many camps was from rattlesnakes, which were 
very numerous. A snake would cause consternation in a camp where bruin and 
the wild lions of the hills would be laughed at or hunted to death. 



CHAPTER X. 

Organization of Humboldt County 

In order properly to understand the early days and organization of 
Humboldt county the reader should gain some idea of the organization of 
the state and its first election. It should be understood that the first elec- 
tion held in California, in 1849, was not participated in by the residents of 



78 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

the north, if there were any. In 1849 the state was not organized, and the 
election precints were established only in those interior towns and mining 
camps that had sprung into prominence during the few months after the 
great gold rush following the discovery by the immortal Marshall. Up to this 
time the adventurous feet of prospectors had not passed the beautiful ver- 
dure-clad hills of the northern latitude. Of those who were destined to be- 
come the founders of the county some were then in the Southern mines, 
others were toihng wearily westward or tossing upon the bosom of ocean 
around the Horn eager to reach the land of gold and sunshine. Many others 
were in their Eastern homes with hardly a thought of the far-away land 
that was to beckon them to its shores. 

Elliott tells us that upon the subdivision of the State into counties in 
1850 Mr. Wathall, a member of the Assembly and of the delegation from the 
Sacramento district which includes the Sacramento valley as far as the 
Oregon line, proposed the names of Shasta and Trinity for the northern 
part of the State, which at that time included what is now Del Norte, 
Trinity, Humboldt, Siskiyou, Modoc, Lassen, Shasta, and a part of Butte 
county. 

It is interesting to reflect that when the State was divided int^ -GGH*»ti_es 
by thie^'act of February 1&, 1850, the northern region was generally an un- 
known land to the Legislators. The excitement in Trinity county was at 
that time at its very height, but still very little was known of the entire 
region, the population having progressed but little beyond the diggings 
on the Sacramento river and Clear creek, and about Shasta. All the north- 
eastern part of this territory was erected into one county called Shasta, with 
the county seat at Reading's ranch. The northwestern part was called 
Trinity county, with the county seat at Trinidad, and thus the territory was 
divided into Trinity and Shasta counties. 

All that portion of the State lying west of Shasta county and that 
which was afterwards formed into Trinity, Humboldt, Klamath, and Del 
Norte-eoTrnttes-'w^^-ereated^aiid^ known as Txinity -cottnty, but as it was yet 
a comparatively strange land it was attached to Shasta for judic-ial pur- 
poses. This action was taken because it was expected that a large popula- 
tion would soon be found on Trinity river and about the bay of Trinidad. 
Trinity county was divided in 1852, all south of a line due east of the mouth 
of Mad river being Trinity, and all north of that line being Klamath connty. 

The California Legislature of 1850-51 provided for the organization of 
Klamath county and ordered an election to be held on the second Monday 
in June, 1851. The act was approved on May 28, 1851. 

The officers were duly elected and the county government took effect 
immediately thereafter. This act recognized Trinity county, and the ter- 
ritory consisted of Klamath at the north and Shasta at the east. The 
Legislature appointed commissioners to designate election precincts and 
superintend the election. Five commissioners were appointed, none of 
whom were from what is now Trinity county ; two were from Humboldt City, 
two from Eureka, and one from Union, the old name for Areata. 

The following were the first officers elected for Klamath : county judge. 
Dr. Johnson Price; district attorney, William Cunningham; county clerk, 
John C. Burch; sheriff, William H. Dixon; assessor, J. W. McGee ; treas- 
urer, Thomas L. Bell. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 79 

By act of the Legislature, approved May-42^ 1853; Trinity county was 
divided into two parts. The western portiorL was— organized into- Hum= 
boldt caunty, and the eastern portion retained the old name of Trinity. 
ThQ_clexlc olT-rinlt^county was required to restore to the clerk of Hum- 
bol4t--eo«ftty-, the books, records, maps, and papers held by Trinity-county, 
and the same became a part of the records of Humboldt county, including 
maps-of the towns of Union (Areata), Eureka, and Bucksport. This change 
in boundaries made the territory into five counties as follows : Klamath, Siski- 
you, Humboldt, Trinity, Shasta. 

The act provided that its boundaries should commence at a point in the 
ocean three miles due west of Mad river, thence due east from the point of 
beginning to Trinity river, thence up the Trinity river to the mouth of 
Grouse creek, thence south to the north line of Mendocino county, and 
thence to the ocean. This boundary was rather indefinite and caused con- 
siderable trouble thereafter. In 1874 Humboldt and Siskiyou counties ac- 
quired the territory of old Klamath county, and it no longer appears on 
the maps. In .1874 it was disorganized, divided, and attached to Siskiyou 
and Humboldt. Much the larger part was attached to Humboldt, and at 
this date the territory of the original two counties has become seven coun- 
ties, and one has disappeared. There at once arose a number of contests 
regarding the location of the county seat of Humboldt county. Rival towns 
along the bay did all in their power to obtain the coveted prize, and much 
bitterness of feeling resulted as the contest went on, as has been said else- 
where in this history. The town of Union was designated as the seat of 
justice, but Bucksport and Eureka were far from being reconciled. In fact 
they became jealous rivals. At the first contest for location of the county 
seat, people of Eel River, in conjunction with all the rural districts of that 
part of the county, joined with Bucksport and supported that place for the 
location, but Union, or Areata, bore off the prize. The air was filled with 
charges of fraud and dishonesty. 

A petition signed by more than one-third of the voters of Humboldt 
county was put in circulation and an application was made for another con- 
test, and this was entered into with great bitterness on both sides. In order 
to settle the matter an election by popular vote was immediately called. 

It is interesting to recall the claims which were set forth by Bucksport 
at the time of the second contest. In a signed argument the proposition 
appeared in the following language : "That Bucksport is the most appro- 
priate place for county seat in Humboldt county. It has the best townsite, 
the best natural advantages for a commercial city, and by far the best water 
off the bay for shipping purposes. That it is the nearest central of any of 
the places proposed, and most accessible ; that it will accommodate the 
citizens generally better than any other place, produce more general quiet, 
and that, when once established, will be far more likely to remain perma- 
nent than any other place on the bay ; are facts of so general notoriety and 
so well established in the minds of the public, that arguments in sub- 
stantiation are unnecessary." 

In the Humboldt Times of October 14, 1853, is published a conveyance 
from William Roberts to the committee for the purpose of laying such 
honorable motives before the public as shall secure the selection of Bucks- 
port for county seat. Mr. Roberts agreed to convey by deed to the trus- 



80 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

tees named by him a large portion of his quarter section of land-at Bucks- 
port on which is situated that most beautiful plateau overlooking the bay. 
The deed provided for surveying the tract into lots 50x100 feet and that 
every citizen of the county "outside of Bucksport precinct shall be entitled 
to a lot of that size for the nominal price of $1 if he shall support Bucksport 
for the county seat and it be selected as such." 

The result of the matter was that neither place received the majority 
of the votes cast. Union retained the location until the act of the Legisla- 
ture in 1856, removing it from that place to Eureka, which act took effect 
on May 1, 1856. 

The board of supervisors at a special meeting April 12, 1856, accepted 
the proposal of R. W. Brett to furnish the county with a court room, two 
jury rooms, clerk's, treasurer's, and sherifif's offices, at Eureka for one year 
from the first day of May, 1856. Mr. Brett reserved to himself the use of 
the court room, and with this reservation furnished the rooms mentioned 
for $200 per annum. 

On Thursday, the first day of May, L. K. Wood, the county clerk and 
ex-officio recorder, removed the records, books, files, a safe, and other 
property belonging to those two offices to Eureka, in accordance with the 
act declaring Eureka the county seat of Humboldt county from and after 
that day. 

R. W. Brett, who owned the building at Eureka occupied by the 
county for court room and offices, had them improved by January, 1857, by 
having the court room extended through to the front of the building the 
same height and width, making the various spaces to some 25x25 feet and 
sixteen feet high. These rooms were used until the court house was built. 

In 1860 Humboldt county purchased a block of ground lying between 
Second street and the bay, being above the termination of First street and 
between I street on the west and K on the east, with a large frame building 
thereon built at that time. 

The contract was then entered into for placing this building on the 
block, adding wings thereto for a court house. The main building was 
eighty feet in length, parallel with Second street, by twenty-four feet deep. 
There was a front projection for entry way at the center extending towards 
Second street 12x26 feet. 

The affairs of the county were managed by what was known as the 
court of sessions from its organization in 1853 until 1863, when they passed 
into the hands of the board of supervisors. The county judge, as chief 
justice, and two justices of the peace as associate justices, composed the old 
court of sessions. Annually the county judge convened the justices of the 
peace of the county, who selected from their own number two who should 
act as associate justices of the court of sessions for the ensuing year. 

The duties of the court of sessions at first were chiefly to administer 
the affairs of the county, a function which is now always discharged by the 
board of supervisors. In time a radical change was made in the powers 
of this court by conferring upon it the criminal jurisdiction previously ex- 
ercised by the district court. It had the power to inquire into all criminal 
offenses by means of a grand jury and to try all indictments found by that 
body except those for murder, manslaughter, and arson, which were certified 
to the district court. In 1863 the court was abolished and its powers were 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 81 

conferred upon the county court. This was the highest local tribunal of 
original jurisdiction, embracing chancery, civil, and criminal causes. As at 
first created it had original cognizance of all cases in equity and its civil 
jurisdiction embraced all causes where the amount in question exceeded 
$200, causes involving the title to real property, or the validity of any tax, 
and issues of fact, joined in the appropriate court. 

This court had power to inquire into criminal ofifenses by means of a 
grand jury and to try indictments found by that body. In time the Legis- 
lature took from this court its criminal jurisdiction and conferred it upon 
the court of sessions, leaving it the power of hearing appeals from that 
court on criminal matters, and the power to try all indictments of murder, 
manslavighter, arson, and any causes in which the members of the court of 
sessions were interested. 



CHAPTER XL 

Russians in Northern California. 

It will be recalled that the good ship Ocean visited Humboldt bay early 
in the nineteenth century. Its coming was at the time when sea-otter hunt- 
ing was attracting a large number of Russians to the northern shores of 
California. It is interesting in this connection to digress for a moment and 
consider the status of California with regard to the world at large during 
those early years of silence and comparative isolation. 

Though the Spanish did not visit Humboldt county, they regarded it 
as under their protecting wings. Mexico consulted Madrid concerning 
everything pertaining to the rights of nations in what was known as Alta 
California. There was a time when the northern part of California was the 
subject of parleying and negotiations between St. Petersburg and Madrid. 
Russia wanted to buy it or lease it for a long term of years. What would 
have become of Humboldt county if the Czar of Russia had bought North- 
ern California? This interrogation carries us far from the current of his- 
tory, but it is worth a moment's reflection. 

It should be borne in mind that under the Spanish rule commerce with 
the great world outside was strictly forbidden, but many ambitious naviga- 
tors from other countries began, early in the nineteenth century, to direct 
their ships toward the Pacific coast with a view to getting a foothold in the 
new world, of which they were hearing a great many glowing stories. La 
Perouse was probably the first foreign visitor. He arrived in 1786, and in 
1792 Vancouver saw the Pacific coast. In 1796, however, the Otter, a 
Boston ship, appeared at Monterey. 

One of the most remarkable visits from a foreigner was that in 1806, 
at which time a Russian ship came from Sitka, Alaska, and anchored in the 
bay of San Francisco under the command of Rezanof, .an officer of high 
degree. He remained in the state for some time and made himself popular 
by reason of his learning and courteous manner. Incidentally, the sad story 
of Rezanof furnished Bret Harte with material for one of his most beautiful 
poems, which is known as "Dona Concepcion." It deals with the love affairs 
and the romantic ending of the courtship between Rezanof and Dona Con- 
cepcion Arguello, daughter of an illustrious Spanish commander. Rezanof 



82 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

became betrothed to the daughter of Arguello, who was then comandante 
of the Presidio, and this close relation enabled him to do a great deal of 
trading with the people, under a suspension of the old rule against such 
traffic, which had long been prohibited. 

Rezanof, or Razanofif, as it is often spelled, went to Russia on a mission 
of state, also to obtain the consent of the Czar to his marriage to Miss 
Arguello. He promised to return and lead the beautiful and trusting girl 
to the altar, but he died on his way across Siberia, perishing in a lonely hut 
to which he had been carried, after injuries received by being thrown from 
a horse. He arose from his bed too soon, being eager to join his bride, 
suffered a relapse, and soon died alone and far away. Miss Arguello waited 
for many years, but the lover of course could not return, nor did she receive 
news of his death until the roses had faded from her cheeks and her eyes had 
often been wet with tears. Harte's poem shows how the maiden watched 
and waited throughout the lonely years, hearing in happy dreams the foot- 
steps of his return. And when the shadow at last fell across her life — 
when she heard that her faithful lover had died without being able to send 
her even a whisper — she became heart-broken and took no further interest 
in the affairs of the world. It was then that she became a nun in the 
Roman Catholic Church. She died in a convent, at Benicia, in 1857, having 
long served as one of the Sisters of Visitacion. 

Thus it will be seen that the ancient drama of the human heart had a 
beautiful setting in those far away times of adventure. It was the old 
grand passion that unlocked the gates of San Francisco to the Russians, the 
same drama that broke the heart of the trusting young woman. It seems 
that Rezanof fell in love with the comandante's beautiful daughter as soon 
as he saw her, but when he left her it was forever. Harte thus refers to the 
patient waiting of the disappointed Concepcion : 

Long beside the deep embrasures where the brazen cannon are. 

Did she wait her promised bridegroom and the answer of the Czar; 

Watched the harbor-head with longing, half in faith and half in doubt, 

Every day some hope was kindled, flickered, faded, and went out. 

Rezanof's visit was followed, in 1812, by the coming of a number of 
Russian pioneers, whose purpose was trading rather than settling the coun- 
try. All produce that the Russians either raised or traded for was sent to 
northern Russian stations. The population, always under strict military 
government, amounted to about three hundred in 1840. It consisted of 
Aleutians, Indians, and Russians. 

Under the initiative of a large fi:r company they founded a trading 
station some nineteen miles north of Bodega bay, built a fort that has 
always been known as Fort Ross, although its Russian name is said to 
have been another word which sounds like the word Ross, and carried 
on a thriving trade with the simple aborigines, as well as with a number of 
Spaniards. The station was established in 1812 and did fairly well until 
1841, when it was abandoned. Long before this time, however, it was in 
evidence that the Russians would not try to colonize either Humboldt or 
Mendocino county, being satisfied to remain at Fort Ross and do their 
trapping and fishing from there. It should be said that the Spaniards and 
Mexicans had always looked upon that fort and the Russian settlements 
around it with disfavor. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 83 

When the Czar of Russia decided to abandon his fort he sold the Rus- 
sian holdings to Capt. John A. Sutter, an enterprising- and successful Swiss 
pioneer, who played an important part in the later history of California, 
and on whose properties the famous James W. Marshall discovered gold in 
1848. It should be remembered, however, that the going away of the Rus- 
sians from Fort Ross did not mean that Russians and other foreigners were 
to be seen no more in northern California in those times. The Columbia 
and North American fur companies pooled their interests, and thereafter it 
was very common to see trappers, hunters and fur traders throughout the 
northern part of the state, some of them visiting Humboldt county. It 
should be understood that not only the Spanish, but many of the others 
of those early times regarded the coming of foreigners with disgust, looking 
upon them with suspicion and regarding them as intruders. 

From time to time the Mexican Congress passed stringent laws against 
foreigners from every nation, not desiring them to gain a foothold in the 
territory. In spite of these measures, however, the influx of people from 
every part of the United States and from outside nations increased quite 
rapidly. Not many years had passed before Americans, English and French 
were actually in control of the bulk of mercantile pursuits. In this con- 
nection Soule tells us in his remarkable volume called "The Annals of San 
Francisco," that runaway seamen and stragglers, as well as settlers from 
Columbia and Missouri, largely swelled the number of white settlers. He 
tells us that the indolent Spanish stupidly looked on while the prestige of 
their name, wealth, and influence passed into stronger hands. 

With the relaxation of the Spanish severity in the southern portions of 
the state there was naturally a large growth of outside population in every 
community, and several hundred of these worked their way into Humboldt 
county. It should be remembered that those who came to Humboldt county 
were largely from Nova Scotia and the New England States. They gave 
character to the population and the influence of their sturdy careers is felt 
tmto this day. 

Tom Gregory, the poet, sage, and historian of Sonoma county, sheds 
light on the Fort Ross situation, which he has studied with much patience. 
He tells us that in 1811 Alexander Kuskofif sailed into Yerba Buena, but he 
did not appreciate or enjoy the reception he found waiting for him from the 
Spanish and local authorities, so he hurriedly departed in high dudgeon. 
As he went toward Bodega bay he saw a river flowing into the ocean, and 
promptly named it Slavianki. The name did not last long, tor General 
Vallejo christened it Russian river, which name it has always borne. 

KuskofT halted at Bodega bay, still feeling highly insulted. While 
smarting keenly under that feeling he tried to annex the whole territory in 
that part of California to the Russian possessions, and threatened to go as 
far north as the Oregon line. He called the territory Roumiantzof. He 
thought he was doing wonders in his efforts thus to slice a large piece from 
the Spanish dominion. Russian surveyors at once began work, and before 
long had run their lines throughout Sonoma county and the Russian River 
valley. They ascended Mount St. Helena, leaving a copper-plate on the 
summit of that grand landmark, the same being inscribed with the date of 
the visit; and what is more important, the name of Princess Helena, wife 
of Count Rotschefif, commanding officer of Fort Ross. That the grant they 



84 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

bought was within the area now known as Bodega township, with or with- 
out other townships added, old records dimly show.- Gregory says: "How- 
ever — and another credit to the Slavonians — this is the only instance where 
the original owners of Californian lands were ever paid anything. The 
price gladly accepted by the Indians was three pairs of breeches, three 
hoes, two axes, four strings of beads. Certainly this valuation was not a 
boom figure, but it must be remembered that California soil was then 
figuratively and literally rated as dirt cheap, preceding the arrival of the 
more modern real estate man with his florid literature." 

When Fort Ross was sold, after a long delay, and its far away day in 
court, it was purchased by Capt. John A. Sutter for $30,000, and finally sold 
to William Muldrew for about one-fifth of that amount, and for years it 
clouded the land titles from Tomales bay to Cape Mendocino. 

It should be remembered that Kuskoff's agriculturists around Bodega 
did very well. They put considerable grain land under cultivation and 
built a farm house. On his return from Sitka with a rich cargo of skins 
and glowing accounts, of the mild summers. Count Baranof, the Russian 
chamberlain, was persuaded to establish a permanent settlement on the 
California coast. Gregory tells us that Russia and Spain were then as much 
at peace with each other as was possible in those stormy days, and it is 
quite possible that the Russian officer was acting under secret instructions 
from St. Petersburg. 

Baranof went nineteen miles north of Bodega bay to a place which the 
Indians called Madshuinuie. The Russians called it Kostromitinof. This 
hopelessly tangled the Spanish tongue, says Gregory, so they called the 
settlement Fuerte de los Rusos, and this finally became Fort Russ, later 
Ross, by the natural corruption of the tongue. The Russians built a high 
stockade overlooking the ocean. At one of the angles of the wall they set 
aside a space for the Greek Catholic chapel. Finally about twenty guns 
commanded the town and the sea. On September 10, 1812, by our calendar, 
the Russians celebrated the founding of their fort with the firing of guns, 
the celebration of the mass, and a period of feasting. 

The comandante at San Francisco notified Governor Arrillaga of the 
invasion of the Spanish territory by the Russians. The case went up to 
Madrid, but meantime the Indians and the Aleutians employed by the Rus- 
sians went on with their work every day, the Russians making desperate 
efl'orts to intrench themselves firmly in the agricultural line. They laughed 
at the very thought of anything like war. Many of the Russian soldiers 
married Indian women, a soldier officer performing the ceremony when the 
chaplain of the church was absent. 

The Russians would have been splendid farmers for the rough regions 
of Humboldt county if they had carried out their original intention of com- 
ing farther north, judging by their efficiency in Sonoma county. Few per- 
sons understand that the Russians had gained considerable of a foothold 
in Sonoma county, or begin to appreciate the magnitude and importance 
of this first Russian colony which planted the standard of its civilization 
there. Large amounts of butter and beef, lumber and fish, as well as all 
the products of the soil were sent to Sitka and the Hawaiian Islands. The 
colony was well supplied with horses, mules, cattle, swine, and poultry, 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 85 

and with a fruitful continent on one side and an equally fruitful ocean on 
the other they were lords of the manor. Gregory tells us that while the 
Fort Ross garrison could have marched from Sonoma to San Diego at any 
time between 1825 and 1841 without much interference from the Spanish or 
Mexicans, the Russians began to show a disposition to leave California. 

The seal-poaching along the coast was giving ovit and driving the 
Russian hunters of Ross more and more inland to the farms — and farming 
as a means of wealth was somewhat beyond the desires of those then 
in charge. 

Governor Wrangell, of Alaska, the head of the fur company, realized 
that the Russians should control more territory than that immediately 
around Fort Ross, if they were to do anything. Therefore he approached 
the Spanish for the purchase of all of the country north of San Francisco, 
and west of the Sacramento river. This was getting pretty close to Hum- 
boldt county, as will be seen. There was a strong proposition made to the 
Spanish but it would seem that the officials of California had suddenly 
undergone a change of heart, as they were afraid to act. They submitted 
the offer to the authorities in Mexico. 

It is believed that the presence of the North Americans who were com- 
ing over the Nevada mountains in strong bands and planting themselves 
with all the airs of welcome visitors along the coast had much to do with 
Governor Alvarado's toleration of the Russians. 

The Californian, whether a subject of Spain or Mexico, feared and 
disliked the Americans, who had no fear, neither great love or respect for 
the greaser. 

It is worth while to bear in mind that the contract by which General 
Sutter acquired Fort Ross was signed on December 13, 1841, by Sutter and 
Kostromitinof in the office of the sub-prefect at San Francisco, this trans- 
action being thus legalized. Thus ended the power of Russia in California. 



CHAPTER XII. 

Topography, Climate and Scenery. 

Sometimes it has seemed strange that Humboldt county was not set- 
tled by white men until many years after the sweet-toned bells of Carmel 
and other missions had rung their messages to the aborigines of the south. 
The Spanish priests not only preferred the milder climate of the south, 
but it would have been exceedingly difficult for the missionaries to have 
overcome the natural barriers of mountain and forest, savage Indians, and 
climatic conditions isolating Humboldt from the world — barriers that are 
still unbroken during the winter season, in the absence of a completed 
railroad. 

It has already been shown that the early sea voyagers discovered no 
sea opening to the county, and the view they obtained was mountainous and 
forbidding. The county is the farthest north but one in the state, while 
Cape Mendocino, its most western point, is within a few miles of being the 
most western point of land in the United States. 



86 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

George A. Kellogg, for many years secretary of the Humboldt County 
Chamber of Commerce, thus describes the physical appearance of the 
county: "Humboldt county is situated nearly in the extreme northwestern 
part of California, its northernmost point being about thirty-two miles from 
the southern boundary of Oregon, from which it is separated by Del Norte 
county. Its southern boundary is the parallel of forty degrees north lati- 
tude, making its length north and south one hundred and eight miles, 
with a width averaging about thirty-five miles. Its area is 3,507 square 
miles, or in acres, 2,244,480. 

"In physical features it is a mountainous district, with over a hundred 
miles of coast line, a commodious harbor nearly midway therein, with 
numerous rivers flowing in a general northwesterly direction, and a promi- 
nent headland — Cape Mendocino. 

"Viewed from the sea, the entire county appears covered with an almost 
unbroken forest from the ocean beach to the mountain summits of its 
eastern boundary, although actually less than half of its area is forest 
proper, though much of the remainder is covered with a tangled and matted 
wilderness of brush. 

"Along or near the coast is the redwood belt — a dense and almost con- 
tinuous forest extending through the entire length of the county north and 
south, with a varying width averaging some ten miles. To some extent 
included in this belt, but principally to the eastward thereof, are consider- 
able forests of pine, oak, spruce, fir, alder, and madrone, making up an 
area nearly equal to that of the redwood. Still further to the eastward, 
and also in lesser degree within this forest region, are large tracts of bald 
hills covered with native grasses, which furnish the best of grazing lands." 

It is estimated that the redwood forests originally covered 538,000 
acres. More than forty billion feet of this, board measure, is still standing. 
Its value is so great that it has been estimated that if a circle forty miles 
in diameter were to be drawn from Eureka, the eastern half of it would 
contain more wealth of natural products than can be found in any similar 
area on the globe, not excluding the gold mines of the Rand. Of course, 
the western half of this circle would be the ocean. 

The surface of the county is for the most part hilly, even mountainous. 
The elevations begin almost immediately from the shore, increasing to the 
eastward until many of the peaks attain an elevation of from four to six 
thousand feet. From Mendocino to Trinidad Head the elevations are more 
gradual. In this depressed part of the county are found the largest bodies 
of rich, level land in the cotmty. Here also exist the principal harbors, the 
mouths of the two most important rivers, most of the principal towns, and 
the greater part of the population. It should be said, however, that the 
completion of the through railroad, the development of Fort Seward as the 
metropolis of southern Humboldt, and some other events will change these 
conditions within the next five or six years so as to equalize the distribution 
of population. 

Humboldt county's coast line is one of rugged beauty, its aggregate 
windings north and south being about one hundred and fifty miles. In an 
air line it is one hundred and eight miles long and an average of thirty-five 
miles in width. It contains 3,507 square miles of land, or 2,244,480 acres. 
Its resources and possibilities make up a section teeming with wealth and 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 87 

opportunity. Del Norte county lies between Humboldt and the Oregon line. 

Humboldt bay lies about half way between the northern and the south- 
ern boundary of the county. The bay has one of the best harbors on the 
coast, the most important but one in the state. Its tidal area is twenty- 
eight square miles; its lineal channel is twenty-six miles. The numerous 
rivers and streams of the county flow in a northwesterly direction. There 
are many beautiful valleys in the county. Eel river, Mad river, Trinity 
river, Klamath river, Mattole river. Bear river. Van Duzen river. Elk river. 
Maple creek, and Redwood creek are all streams of importance. 

There is nothing mysterious about the climate of Humboldt county, 
which differs greatly from the climate of other portions of the state, espe- 
cially from the climate of Southern California. Places adjacent to the coast 
are never so hot as those locations either in or close to the great interior 
valleys. It should be clearly understood, however, that Humboldt county 
is directly influenced by the primal causes that give the entire state its 
equable temperature, freedom from cyclones, sunstroke, blizzards, and other 
unpleasant and destructive climatic disturbances. 

There is a wide range of temperature during the summers of Hum- 
boldt county. Eureka and the section for a few miles back of it have 
the coolest summer climate in the United States, the least yearly range 
between summer and winter not exceeding 2il degrees. Hot days are un- 
known in this favored section. A temperature of 80 degrees is regarded 
as high. In the valleys and hills, however, the thermometer reaches true 
summer proportions. The redwoods, moreover, conserve moisture and the 
woods are always cool. Like the rest of California, Humboldt county is free 
from summer rains. The prevailing winds from the west give the county 
that sea air which is the delight of the coast resorts in particular. The 
absolute highest temperature ever known in Eureka was on June 6, 1903, 
which was 85.2 degrees above zero. The lowest temperature ever recorded 
was on January 14, 1888, 20.3 degrees above zero. The average daily range 
of temperature in twenty-five years was 10.7 degrees. The average annual 
rainfall is 44.92 inches. The average winter temperature is 47.4 degrees 
above zero; spring, 50.2; summer, 55.3; autumn, 53.4. 

Thousands of persons ask "What gives California her mild climate?" 
without seeming to have the slightest idea what the cause is. For many 
years it has been taught that the Japan current is responsible for our 
weather. Everything pertaining to the verdure-clad hills of early spring, 
to the skies of blue and gold, and to the purely Californian skies, has been 
attributed to the Japan current; but the expert climatologists regard this 
current as more of a myth than a reality. To give the cause of the climate 
in a sentence it might be said that the prevailing winds from the west are 
the fundamental cause of our immunity from excesses of heat and cold. 
The winds from the great warm Pacific are our salvation from the ills that 
afflict our eastern neighbors. Add this to the peculiar topographical ad- 
vantages, and the question is solved. 

The Federal Government has given us a scientific explanation. In 
"Bulletin L," a discussion of the climatology of California, issued by the 
Federal Government in 1903, Prof. Cleveland Abbe, of the Central Weather 
Bureau, Washington, D. C, says: "The prevailing easterly drift of the 
atmosphere in temperate latitudes, causing the well-known winds from the 



88 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

west, is one of the prime factors in modifying the climate of the coast of 
California. The coast line, stretching through ten degrees of latitude, is 
subject to a steady indraft of air from the west. In this movement, together 
with the fact that to the west lies the great Pacific ocean, lies the secret 
of the difference in temperature between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts at 
places of like latitude." 

Incidentally, the rotation of the earth on its axis, in the whirl of more 
than a thousand miles an hour from west to east, determines the easterly 
drift of the winds in the northern hemisphere. The prevailing winds from 
the west, say at Chicago, bring the breath of winter from the fields of 
snow and ice. In the summer months the same winds from the west, fresh 
from hot and arid regions, bring sunstroke and melting heat, cyclones, and 
the many rigors of severe seasons. It is different on the coast because 
of the origin of the winds, which sweep over many thousand miles of the 
Pacific, whose average temperature is 55 degrees above zero, Fahrenheit. 
The explanation is simple. 

Aaron H. Bell, the official weather observer at Eureka, reports that the 
air off shore from Humboldt county is warmed by the ocean, this being due 
to the prevailing movement of the air currents from the ocean to the land. 
Proximity to the ocean is the principal cause of abundant rains and the 
absence of severe cold. When the air from off shore comes in contact 
with the cooler land currents, we get cloudiness or high fog, even when 
we fail to have rain. Mr. Bell continues as follows: 

"The mean temperature of the ocean water along the northern Califor- 
nia coast averages about 55 degrees, while the mean temperature of the air 
at Eureka is 51 degrees. A few miles back from the coast the climate is 
different. There, the temperature is higher and the weather mostly sunshine 
and delightfully pleasant. 

"The most important climatic elements are temperature and precipita- 
tion and the single element that appeals most directly to the sensations 
of the human body is temperature. The average seasonal temperatures 
at Eureka are as follows : winter, 47 degrees ; spring, 50 degrees ; summer, 
55 degrees; autumn, 53 degrees. The mean annual temperature is 51 de- 
grees, and the average daily range of temperature is 11 degrees. The warm- 
est month is August, which has an average temperature of 47 degrees. 
February has practically the same temperature as January. The highest 
temperature recorded at this station during the past twenty-five years 
was 85 degrees, and the lowest 20 degrees." 

Those unacquainted with the weather of Humboldt county should under- 
stand that the approach of winter is never heralded by fear; it is welcomed 
with feelings of joy. Summer wanes gradually, sometimes lingering like the 
Indian summers of the east until the halcyon days of October, or even until 
the soft brown tints of November tell that cooler nights and rains are near. 
Possibly then a gentle wind springs from the southeast, rushing toward a 
climatic disturbance in the northwestern part of the Pacific, possibly from 
off British Columbia. Soon a gentle shower begins, sometimes more like 
a mist than rain — sometimes a driving storm driven by a steady gale, but 
always without thunder, and never with cyclonic violence. Then, after a 
day or two of gentle rains the sun peeps forth from cirrus clouds, the air 
becomes clear, the foothills and mountains loom into view through the lens 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 69 

of clarified air, the birds sing, the flowers bloom, and often the most charm- 
ing weeks of all the year follow the benign winter rains that mark the 
short days. 

It was not realized until comparatively recent times that the wild 
scenes abounding in the mountain fastnesses of Humboldt county are likely 
to be one of the greatest assets in its future industry, this by reason of the 
rapidly increasing tourist trade. In olden days, travel was too tedious to 
prove encouraging, but with the coming of better roads the conditions of 
yesterday are doomed to pass away. 

There are many movements under way to build better roads than have 
ever been thought of in the past. Chief Engineer Burrell, of the Federal 
Bureau of Highways, has made several visits to the county and outlined a 
system of roads that, sooner or later, will give the public a wonderful 
view of the spots of scenic grandeur. 

Every conscientious writer has always found it difficult to portray the 
splendid scenes abounding along the coast and in the mountainous interior 
of counties like Humboldt, Del Norte, and Mendocino, without appearing 
guilty of over-statement; yet to become merely statistical in the presence of 
the sublime would be much like adding a column of figures during the 
rendering of a Beethoven symphony or during a performance of grand 
opera. The man who goes forth to picture the lights and shadows of the 
redwood forests, the beauties of the coast, will find it necessary to deal in 
colors. Nature, during the summers of Humboldt in particular, is full of 
high lights and minor chords. 

Of the delights of Humboldt county, volumes might well be written, 
for it is thronged with striking features. Most of the county is still little 
known to the masses who live within its borders. As a whole, it is a 
picturesque region as little known as any in the Golden West. It is a land 
of dreamy retreats. The isolation of some of the more rugged portions is 
almost as great as that of some of the remote fastnesses of Canadian 
North America, where primitive trapping and hunting constitute almost the 
only vocation among the hardy pioneers. 

Many parts of Humboldt county suggest such scenes as are portrayed 
by Fenimore Cooper in his descriptions of the early American frontier, 
barring the Indian warfare. Most of the remoter areas present a wide 
expanse of mountain solitudes, where long-bearded cabin dwellers amuse 
themselves by pursuing bears and mountain lions, by fishing and general 
sports — where venison, either fresh or jerked, is the staple article of diet, 
and where steel-heads and mountain trout, grouse and quail, are as plentiful 
as when Junipero Serra established the Franciscan missions in the South. 

Surely Portola, Ortega, Cabrillo, Ferrero, and Sir Francis Drake beheld 
scenes that were not much more primitive than some of those now common 
in Humboldt's wilds. Of course there were Indians when Winship discov- 
ered the great Humboldt bay in 1806, but the face of nature is in many 
places as virgin as of old. 

Nowhere on the American continent can more primeval surround- 
ings be found than in some of the remoter portions of Humboldt. Some of 
the old masters of wood lore are still unacquainted with the barber. They 
are at home with nature and the stars. These guardians of the primitive 
forests are often excellent companions and entertainers. The visit of a 



90 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

tourist from the great outside world spurs them to become generous hosts 
and guides. Their rude tables are frequently laden with delicacies from 
forest and stream, tree and vine. Around their cabins grow luscious fruits 
and vegetables— food as delicious as- any ever eaten in secret places. These 
brawny men of the generous west are at home amid scenes that impress 
the casual visitor with awe, or lure him like visions of Paradise. 

In a little book entitled, Humboldt, the Playground of the West, the 
writer of this chapter has tried to portray some of the striking features of 
the scenery of the county. It impressed him forcibly that painters and 
poets in common with lovers of nature, and men and women weary of the 
narrow life of cities, find rest amid the scenes that make Humboldt the 
Switzerland of North America, the playground of the Golden West. Such 
visitors stand entranced in the presence of peaks that kindle with glowing 
lights, or fade in the dissolving purples of afternoon. 

To become a sentinel on some of the crags overlooking the mighty 
Pacific, to behold the yellow shafts of morning light illumine the valleys, 
and watch the day march westward until it fades in the gloaming and de- 
parts over the sunset sea, is to become intoxicated with such day dreams as 
soothe weary nerves in a land of sleep and rest. 

To read of scenes that "set the pulses leaping" may please the timid 
and the sedentary, but the peaceful art of fireside exploring does not appeal 
to that large and increasing number of eastern and foreign tourists who 
have fallen under the lure of the Golden West, who feel toward this new 
land much as the first men felt under the spell that led them vo eat of the 
earth and call it delicious. 

To travelers in search of experiences that give an insight into primitive 
grandeur, Humboldt county, which Bret Harte called America's uttermost 
west, ofifers the luring variety of ancient redwood forests, mighty canyons, 
great mountain peaks, long stretches of thundering sea coast, and the 
solitary haunts of big game. Everywhere the prospect is wild and pleasing. 
There is an absence of monotony, for every turn of the trail reveals the 
unexpected. There is every variety from fertile valleys and bird-haunted 
spots of mystery to rugged mountains and roaring cataracts ; from the tem- 
pered light of the woods, "like perpetual morning," to the noisy sea-clifTs 
of picturesque old Trinidad. The vast forests alone are worth a voyage 
across the sea, for no other wooded area on the globe approaches them 
in extent and magnificence. 

The greater part of the county consists of virgin wilds, remote from 
railroads, and far from beaten paths. The summers in the forests are not 
only climatically perfect, but they are revelations of beauty, silence, and 
grandeur. Painters have noted the fact that the wonders of light and 
shadow here work their most luring spells. There is every tone from rosy 
dawn to melting sunsets and the sheen of moonlight nights. The songs of 
birds, the winds murmuring in the high branches, the music of unseen 
waterfalls, and the call of the wild beast to his mate, come over the morning 
hills of a world that is new and clean. 

Amid haunting mysteries of forest and mountain the visitor stands en- 
tranced with a picture that melts in strange weird lights. Now and then 
one catches the glint of flashing waters in cascades and pools amid the 
tangled wildwood of mountain retreats. It is not unusual to come upon 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 91 

untrodden Edens of mystery among the valleys and high plateaus; but at 
the very moment when one fancies himself alone, he is likely to meet with 
pleasant surprises, for amid the solitudes of scenic glories, lowing kine and 
bands of sheep now and then thread their way over little valleys that dip 
and rise until purling streams or crystal springs are reached. 

All forms and colors revel in the great empire of the ranges. Massive 
domes and sky-reaching peaks here and there suggest the mighty face of 
El Capitan, with phantoms of miniature Shastas and Hoods in the graceful 
distance — countless gorges and little Yosemites arresting attention along 
the way. 

From some viewpoints, especially in the vicinity of Trinidad, one may 
behold gray sea-lines afar, or cloud-capped peaks that lift their hoary heads 
toward the stars — wild prospects that stretch beyond the limits of human 
vision,, the entire spectacde unfolding" vast panoramas from the yesterdays of 
geologic time. Many of the cycles in countless world-building processes — • 
great cataclysms that changed the face of the globe — lie in strata piled upon 
strata, i:ntil the mind is bewildered in contemplation of Nature's restless 
forces of the long ago, and the changes wrought by erosion and millions of 
storms beating out their carvings through the long ages of the past. Here 
and there are mountain-high scars made by ancient glaciers, deep rents torn 
by primeval earthquakes, rock trenches, and the sculpturing of prehistoric 
floods. 

But over it all, like the mingling of the dawn and the dew, brood the 
gentle influences of thousands of years of forest life — for the great red- 
woods hide the geologic faults, and mantle the most rugged scenes with a 
majesty that cannot be forgotten. The spell of ancient forests is the unique 
and permeating influence of the characteristic landscapes of California's great 
northern wonderland. 

Those who like picturesque coast scenery will find it in its awful ma- 
jesty here. One must stand on the sand spits of the lagoons where the 
giant swells, coming through sixty feet of water, plunge in one mighty 
breaker as they roar and bound a hvtndred feet high on the beach. -This is 
the edge of the world, the Niagara of the mighty Pacific. The concussions 
rattle windows a mile away, and the booming disturbs slumber. 

Yet just back of these scenes are the mighty redwoods, tranquil in their 
hoary age. In the background are splendid trout streams that rush into the 
sea, plunging through canyons or rippling through peaceful valleys on their 
way. 

The world's greatest forest lies a mile or two from Dyerville near the 
South fork of the Eel river. This is known as the Bull creek forest. There 
are about forty trees to the acre — more than 4,000,000 feet of lumber. The 
trees are the largest in all the redwood belt. The redwood, or the Sequoia 
Sempervirens, grows in a limited area on the Pacific coast. This region 
extends from the southern boundary of Oregon to Punta Gorda in Monterey 
county. These wonderful trees are limited to the fog belt of the coast, 
rarely growing more than thirty miles from the sea or at an altitude above 
three thousand feet. Some of the largest trees reach a height of three 
hundred feet. The diameter at the base of the largest specimens runs from 
eighteen to twenty-eight feet. While the Sequoia Gigantea trees of the 
famous Calaveras Grove are taller and greater in age and diameter than the 



92 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

redwood, the redwoods are far more graceful. In some of the redwood 
specimens the diameter is great for a long distance— a hundred feet or more 
from the base of the tree. Their age carries one back at least a thousand 
years, before Columbus discovered America. 

In the one hundred twenty miles of rugged coast line of Humboldt 
county, with a land-locked bay consisting of twenty-eight miles of tidal 
area, with half a dozen rivers and scores of mountain streams flowing into 
the sea — rivers and streams fed by copious rains and always filled with 
fresh water, one finds all the favorable conditions for the sport old Izaak 
Walton loved so well that he wrote a famous book on the subject. 

In the springtime the smaller streams are a veritable Mecca for the 
lovers of the rod and reel. The wonderful brook trout are fitting objects 
of pursuit. Each of the small streams flowing into or near the bay teems 
with finny beauties running from six to twelve inches in length. One or 
two hours' run from Eureka brings the angler to Salmon creek, Elk river, 
Ryan's slough. Freshwater, or Jacoby creek. From any one of these 
streams many well-filled creels are the reward of the angler throvighout the 
early months of the season. Yager creek is also a noted stream, and a 
favorite of the anglers. 

Farther away, toward the north. Mad river, Lindsay creek. Little river, 
Maple creek. Redwood creek, Prairie creek, and other streams are within 
from half a day to a day's journey. Each stream offers the finest sport 
known to fly, to troll, and to bait fishermen. To name the rivers and 
streams is to call up a train of delightful memories. The game fish in these 
streams are larger than those in the tributaries of the bay. Cut-throat 
trout sixteen inches long are common. 

Big lagoon, Stone lagoon, and Freshwater lagoon — three large brackish 
lakes, about forty miles north of Eureka — are delightful for those who enjoy 
fishing. Ordinary trout abound, but the lagoons are also filled with steel- 
heads from twenty to thirty inches long and weighing from five to fifteen 
pounds each. Rainbow trout of marvelous size and delicacy abound near 
the mouth of Maple creek. These are from twelve to thirty inches long 
and may be taken on the fly or the troll. These handsome fish are also 
found in Stone lagoon. 

South of Humboldt bay there are many excellent trout streams. Bear 
river and the Mattole, the Van Duzen, Lawrence creek, Larribee creek, the 
South Fork of the Eel and its many branches ofifer the very best of early 
season sport, and most of the streams named continue to yield splendid fish 
throughout the open season. 

Fly fishing for steel-head trout in Eel river is the incomparable sport of 
the county's anglers. The season begins in July and extends to the end of 
September, which is accounted the best month for this pastime. The steel- 
heads swarm the countless river pools. The open, broad river and the 
glorious background appeal to lovers of a real outing. The steel-heads, 
fresh from the ocean, are strong and vigorous. The fight they put up be- 
fore being conquered by the angler is worth a long jovirney by land and sea. 
These fish run from half a pound to twenty pounds in weight. Ordinary 
trout, salmon trout, chub salmon. King salmon, and some other varieties 
abound. Greig's, Weymouth, Fortuna, Alton, Scotia — these names bring 
pleasant memories to devotees of rod and reel. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 93 

The remarkable fact in Eel river fishing is that the prize may weigh 
anywhere from two to forty pounds. 

Humboldt bay abounds in rock-cod, flounders, smelt, herring, perch, 
tom cod, Alaska pickerel, sea trout and salmon. In the ocean are caught 
rock-cod, halibut, sea bass, hake, salmon, and some true salmon. 

Three or four varieties of clams abound in the bay — softshell varieties, 
razor backs, butter clams. Mussels are found on the rocks all along the 
coast, but those at Trinidad are famous for their size and delicacy. Little 
river clams are noted for their delicacy. 

With the first rains of autumn come the runs of salmon on Eel river, 
Mad river and the Klamath. The net fisherman's season then begins. 
Crabs abound in the waters of the bay and ocean. 

The following list of the birds of Humboldt county was supplied by 
J. F, Smith, a prominent ornithologist of Eureka : Ducks — Mallard, gad- 
wall, widgeon, baldpate, green winged teal, blue winged teal, cinnamon 
teal, shoveler teal, pintail, wood-duck, redhead, canvasback, scaup-duck, 
lesser scaup-duck, ring-neck, goldeneye, bufflehead, old squaw, harlequin, 
ruddy. Geese — Lesser snow-goose, Ross's American white-fronted, Canada 
goose, Hutchins, white cheeked, cackling, black sea brant, emperor, whist- 
ling swan. Birds — American coot, California slapper-rail, Virginia rail, Wil- 
son snipe, long-billed dowitcher, knot, marbled godwit, greater yellow-legs, 
long-billed curlew, Hudsonian curlew, black-billed plover, kildeer, black 
oyster-catcher, mountain partridge, California partridge, sooty grouse, Ore- 
gon ruffed grouse, band-tail pigeon, and mourning dove. 

William Rotermund, a prominent taxidermist of Eureka, gives the fol- 
lowing list of animals to be found in Humboldt county : Coon, fox, martin, 
mink, otter, fisher (a carnivorous animal of the weasel type), civet-cat, 
weasel, wildcat, lynx, coyote, panther, black bear, brown bear, gray squirrel, 
ground squirrel, deer, elk, mountain beaver (almost extinct), mole gopher. 

One of the greatest improvements of modern years in Humboldt county 
is seen in the picturesque Trinity highway. It will be possible in the sum- 
mer season to reach either Redding or Red Blufif in the Sacramento valley, 
in from twelve to sixteen hours by automobile. In other words, the tourist 
may leave Eureka after breakfast and be in Red Bluff for a late dinner. 
He can then catch a train from Portland to San Francisco and be in the 
metropolis for breakfast the next morning. Or he can leave Redding or 
Red Bluff in the morning and be in Eureka in the evening. 

The scenery along this highway is pronounced as noble as any in 
America. In crossing the South Fork mountain an altitude of more than 
four thousand feet is reached, the summit itself being at least two thousand 
feet higher than the road. The Trinity highway begins near Mad river, 
mounting steadily u:itil a panoramic view of great splendor unfolds itself 
beneath the tourist, in the background, or beyond his entranced vision amid 
the glories of towering peaks. 

There is not an opportunity here to specify the peaks and special points 
of the landscape in detail, but it should be said that King's peak, Yallo 
Bollas, Rainbow Ridge, and Lasseck's peak stand out in distinctive glory. 
Mountain lovers do not like to miss these remarkable elevations. Big game, 
wonderful fishing, and all that great scenery implies may be found in the 
vicinity of these landmarks. 



94 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Both President Jordan, of Stanford University, and Dr. Gilbert, his as- 
sociate in icthyology, declare Humboldt county the paradise of America for 
those who enjoy the sport of fishing. There are all sorts of opportunities 
for ensnaring the fishes of the streams and rivers with rod and line and net. 

Amid scenes of this character there are vast areas that offer the lure 
of adventure and the certainty of fortune, or at least worthy rewards, to 
men of foresight and industry — brawny men who ask only a fair chance. 
One who once falls under the spell of this land can understand why the 
legends of Gautama tell us that the first men ate of the earth and found it 
dehcious. These Humboldt acres, beautiful yet rugged, hold hidden and 
awaiting fortunes for thousands who may soon seek the west for a perma- 
nent field of horticultural and agricultural activity. 



CHAPTER XIII. 
Early Towns and Villages of Humboldt County. 

All old residents and writers on early Humboldt tell us that the popula- 
tion of the villages and settlements did not increase very fast during 1851 
and 1852, for the reason that the speculative class of people went away from 
the towns about as fast as the plodding sons of industry came in. 

Areata seems to have been the one exception to this statement, for all 
agree that its prosperity was quite marked during the time when other 
communities were suffering from inactivity. In the year 1851 business at 
Areata was unusually brisk, the pop ulation increased quite rapidly, and the 
air of prosperity was everywhere in evidence. 

About this time strong, vigorous men — pioneers in the lumber business 
— began to be attracted to the advantages of Areata and Humboldt county. 
The result was that the lumber business began to prosper as it had never 
prospered, and the nucleus of great fortunes was there and then laid. In 
spite of the fact that speculation was almost universal, a number of towns 
began to carry on their affairs along rational development lines. An old 
writer tells us that Union and Humboldt both opened trade to the mines, 
while Eureka began shipping piles and square timber. Thus, before the end 
of the year a large number of cargoes of these materials had been shipped to 
San Francisco from the waterways in the vicinity. 

Two other towns made strenuous efforts to build up a trade with the 
mining men, but in the case of Humboldt Point this effort was unsuccess- 
ful. Trains invariably left and went to Areata whenever there was no in- 
ducement offered them to go to the former place, and in July, 1851,, it is said 
that the last train left Humboldt Point for the mining region, and after that 
ti-ffite-Afeata-enfeyed-alroost a monopoly. 

Bucksport, another important point at the time, has always been a place 
of interest in the history of the covuity. It was laid out in 1851, by pioneer 
David A. Buck, and it immediately took a position in the ranks of the rival 
towns of the bi^y. 

In 1854 the Masons erected a beautiful hall of two stories, with a school 
room on the first floor. Dr. Jonathan Clark-iuilt a handsome residence 
fronting directly on the bay there. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 95 

At this time the four towns of the bay were Bucksport, Humboldt, Eu- 
reka and Union. The first three had one store each, while Union had 
several large and prosperous establishments of this character. Bucksport 
was made the port of entry and in 1856 contained a church, two hotels, a 
saw-mill, a store, and several private residences. Fort Hamilton was built 
on a bluff in the rear of the townsite, commanding a view of the entrance to 
the harbor. 

It should not be forgotten that early in the year 1850 it was the general 
impression that Trinity river emptied into the ocean and formed a bay at 
its mouth, and as the mines on the river were reported to be wonderfully 
rich it was reasonable to suppose that if anybody could find this bay and 
lay out a town on it he would make a fortune by selling lots. It was about 
this time that a speculative mania was at its meridian in California, so 
there was no lack of men who were ready to imperil their lives and risk 
their property on a voyage of discovery for the chance of becoming pro- 
prietors of a city and consequently Monte Cristos. 

In January, 1856, several vessels were fitted out in San Francisco for 
the purpose of exploring the coast and searching for the mouth of Trinity 
river as mentioned by Buhne, Howard and others, and as spoken of here- 
tofore in this history. Humboldt bay and the mouth of Eel river were 
discovered soon afterwards and the party which discovered the latter 
thought it was the mouth of the Trinity. They therefore ran their vessels 
into the bay at its mouth and prospected for some distance in the hope of 
finding gold. These adventurers soon explored the country close to the bay, 
occupied Humboldt Point, and laid it out for a townsite in the year 1850. 

Union was settled soon thereafter and Eureka sprang into existence a 
little bit later. Each of the three places laid claim to a large tract of land 
for a site and before autumn's shades had begun to fall the entire margin 
of the bay was set forth as fit for city property and a large portion of it 
was actually surveyed into streets and blocks. 

Trinidad is another interesting place. It is said by the residents of 
Trinidad that it was the best port on the Pacific coast or at least, in the 
northern part, and they proceeded to make good the grounds of their claim. 

The location of Trinidad was considered very suitable even at that day 
for a harbor of refuge, because it is easy of access and open from the 
sea at all times. 

Pilot Rock is more than three hundred feet across the base and is one 
hundred and twelve feet above high water. The whole length of the break- 
water would be about two thousand six hundred feet with an average depth 
from shore to rock of about seven to eight fathoms. 

It was therefore said by those who watched the heavy action of the sea 
for several years that it would have been a safe harbor in all kinds of 
storms. There were many arguments brought forward to show that Trini- 
dad should be the metropolis of the county, and it is interesting at this late 
day to find that some of the arguments for the harbor of refuge are identi- 
cal with those which were put forth in those far-away times. 

Hydesville, a small place in the southern part of the county, is much 
older than many people suppose. It sprang into existence in 1858 on a 
place which was known as Gooseberry or on the Van Duzen forks of Eel 
river. The town derived its name from a Mr. Hyde, who formerly owned 



96 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

the land on which it stands. Pine's Hotel was the first one built and the 
first general mercantile store in the place was built by Dr. M. Spencer, who 
conducted it for a number of years. In 1859 there was a wagon and car- 
riage shop there, also a blacksmith, a saddler, a carpenter, a shoemaker, a 
livery stable, and one store kept by I. Manheim & Co. There was a school 
which was taught by W. H. Mills, and had thirty-four pupils. Cooper's 
mills were turning out twenty-five barrels of flour a day. They were 
located about three miles distant from Yager creek and propelled by water- 
power. The town once showed, as these facts indicate, much evidence 
that it might become something far more important than it is today. After 
the first few years of flurry and apparent success the town began to lapse 
into what it is now, a mere trading point. 

Rohnerville derived its name from Henry Rohner, who resided near 
there for many years. In 1859 only one store was kept there, conducted by 
Rohner & Feigenbaum, and a hotel was erected by Brower & Woodrufif. 
Its population has increased lately and the chances are that it will be a 
very good town. 

Recurring to Areata it should be said that it was formerly called 
Union. The name Areata was given to it in March, 1860. The Times of 
March 21, 1860, says: "No name could be more appropriate for a village 
containing such a sociable and fun-loving people than that of Union. Some 
romantic people about there ran away with the idea that Areata is a legiti- 
mate Digger word and means Union. This is not correct. It means a 
certain place in town where the Diggers were once in the habit of congre- 
gating, which in our langviage would be about the same as down there or 
over yonder. To some, Union may sound as euphonious as if called by 
any other name, bvit not so with us. Therefore other people may call it 
what they like, but we call it Union." Notwithstanding some opposition to 
the new name it easily stuck fast and became popular. Some of the old- 
timers insist that Areata in Indian means a bright or sunny spot. 

In 1854 we find that Areata had about fourteen stores carrying large 
stocks of goods, besides saddle and harnessmakers, jewelers, gunsmiths, tin- 
smiths, and several blacksmith and wagon shops, all of which did an active 
and profitable business. It seems that the first active ofhcers of Areata were 
elected in April, 1856, imder the order of county judge, incorporating the 
village. There were four towns on the bay in 1855 — Humboldt, Bucksport, 
Eureka, and Union. The first three boasted of a store each, while the 
latter had seven large wholesale establishments, with harnessmakers, sad- 
dlers, etc., as indicated. 

In 1856 Areata was connected with the ship channel by a plank road 
and a rail track two miles in length, passing over the intervening marsh flat. 
At the end of the rail track were built a fine wharf and some warehouses. 
By 1856 Areata had nine wholesale and retail stores, besides hotels, drug 
stores; tin, harness and gun shops; churches, etc. The town, unlike many 
others, was laid out after the Spanish style, with a plaza, around which are 
the principal business houses. There were two private schools in 1856, one 
for girls kept by Miss Hart, and the other for "young lads and girls," kept 
by Miss Webb. 

Eureka was originally founded in mining times and received a large 
floating population. One year it experienced a setback in lumbering and 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 97 

other lines of business which made pretty hard times and decreased the_ 
population. 

liarfy in 1856 the county seat was moved to Eureka from Areata and 
business revived very much the spring thereafter. Ever since that date its 
course has been steadily onward, until now it is a city approximating 
fifteen thousand population, with excellent chances ahead of it. Thg_town 
was incorporated on April 18, 1856, and the first election of officers'l'esulted 
in a satisfactory manner a's follows : Trustees, James T. Ryan, C. F. Ricks, 
A. F. Rollins, J. M. Eddy, and George Graham. C. F. Ricks was president 
of the board, and J. M. Eddy was secretary. 

It is interesting to know that Eureka contained a large number of saw- 
mills, general stores, hotels, boarding houses, drug stores, fruit stores, shoe- 
maker shops, blacksmith shops, livery stables, saloons, wagon and carriage 
factories, butcher shops, etc., a few years after it was founded. The first 
church was a rude structure surrounded by logs, stumps, and brush, and it 
simply had the title of "the church." It was used as the place of public 
worship for all denominations. It was a hall for the Sons of Temperance, 
for singing schools, school house, public speaking and various gatherings. 
It was not very long before a number of other churches and halls were 
built, and this was soon followed by the establishing of other institutions 
and houses for conducting business ajid taking care of the social welfare in 
general. The Humboldt County Bank, it is interesting to know, was estab- 
lished in 1873. In the same year John Vance built the city waterworks. 

Through uTany years of isolation and hope deferred Eurekans and Hum- 
boldters in general have been watching and Avaiting for the coming of the 
railroad which is to unite them with the world at large. Eureka has long 
been the largest city in the United States without a through railroad, but 
that condition is soon to pass away, as there is no doubt that the North- 
western Pacific will be in full operation in the year 1915. (This is written in 
April, 1914.) Not only is this an encouraging sign, but the county has 
contracted to buy $1,500,000 worth of State Highway bonds, and this alone 
will guarantee close connection with the world at large. It will open up a 
wonderful field for tourists from other parts of the state as well as from the 
east, and will make it easy for those who are producing agricultural and 
horticultural crops to reach tidewater and the markets of the world. In 
conjunction with these improvements the jetties will be completed, the bay 
will be dredged, and the ships of the world, coming through the Panama 
Canal, will be able to reach the port of Eureka and give this virgin empire 
an outlet for its wonderful crops, its lumber, and all of those articles of 
use and beauty which the future is destined to bring forth from this rich 
country of varied resources. 

A writer on the subject has said that the completion of the railroad 
with terminal rates sure to accompany it, will make Humboldt bay the 
natural outlet of the vast territory of Northern California and Southern 
Oregon, also a shipping and manufacturing center of the first rank, for 
cheap sites, cheap power and cheap transportation can not fail to attract 
manufacturers in largely increasing numbers. 

The trip from San Francisco to Eureka by overland automobile, stage, 
or otherwise has been declared the most fascinating trip in America by none 
other than the Rev. William E. Rader, of San Francisco, who has seen many 



98 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

of the great drives and roads of the Old as well as the New World. In 
speaking of the distance of one hundred and fifty odd miles, he says that 
the entire course leads with few exceptions through nature's unbroken fast- 
nesses of forest and mountains. He adds that if one of the giant redwoods 
along this California path were set in Central Park, New York, or along the 
Thames in London it would attract more attention than the Metropolitan 
Museum or the Egyptian Obelisk. He adds: "A ride over this road in an 
automobile is a rare and exciting experience, disclosing picture after picture 
of natural magnificence, colored with nature's own brush, dipped in a magi- 
cal combination of atmospheric effect of light and shade. Variety of land- 
scape, majesty of outline in rock and mountain and vale, stretches of river 
and creek, unique geological formations, and a variety of wild flower, foliage, 
and tree life greet the eye at every turn, while now and then a deer 
crosses the path with a wondering, friendly look, as if it would recognize 
something akin to itself in the automobile without a rifle." He remarks 
that the air is like wine, the sky like that which bends over Venice and 
Florence. The people one meets on the way are of a class which stands 
for the best in the Far West, for they are men of brawn and brains who 
have found their way into these mountain wilds, the last of the pioneers — • 
for beyond their habitation rolls Balboa's Pacific Sea. To the far westward 
lies the Old East — Far Cathay — and they are made one by virtue of the 
cables, the wireless, and because of the higher affinity of commerce and 
the brotherhood of the nations. 

No wonder, therefore, that the people of Humboldt county and of 
Eureka expect to attract large numbers of tourists when the highway is 
completed. If a minister of the Gospel noted as a writer tells the tourist that 
by trusting in the skill of the stage-driver and the providence of God he 
would reach his destination without serious troubles over this road of 
wonders it is well to take his advice. He says that if one would travel by 
rail and auto one leaves the train at Longvale and takes it again at Mc- 
Cann's. He says these metal threads are soon to be tied together when the 
tourist will substitute the train for the machine and all may enjoy scenic 
rides on the railway. Speaking of his second morning he says : "The next 
morning at seven o'clock we took the train again and in half an hour 
reached the end of the road at Longvale, where, in the depths of the forest 
we made the start in the stage for a ninety mile journey over high precipices 
and steep grades, around the sharpest turns, across sparkling trout streams, 
through groves of great trees, descending into the deep shadow of the giant 
redwoods, where we looked upon trees which stood before Christ was born. 
This road continued till we reached the Devil's Elbow six or seven hundred 
feet above Eel river at McCann's, where we descended upon a crooked road 
with breathless interest, if not fear — possibly the most thrilling and crooked 
road in all the world." 

Thus it will be seen, harking to the present from the olden time, that 
the hardships and conditions which the pioneers beheld have been swept 
away and forever. The future is destined to be much like that of other 
countries which cater to the tourist trade of the world. 

Like Switzerland, only ours is smaller, Humboldt county will give em- 
ployment to thousands of men and women as owners and employes con- 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT C )UNTY 99 

nected with hotels and resorts close to nature's untrodden wilds. The old 
order changeth and the past is passing away. 



CHAPTER XIV. 
Early School and Educational Activity. 

Educators and lovers of historical data regret that there are no obtain- 
able facts regarding educational matters in early Humboldt. It is known, 
however, that the first school ever organized in the county was at Union, 
afterwards Areata, in the year 1852. Those whose memories are still vivid 
say there were about fifty pupils. Humboldt county was at that time a 
part of Trinity, and fond parents looked forward with much anxiety to the 
education of their own ofifspring, ever anxious that somebody should "teach 
the young idea how to shoot." 

It is reported that in the school year which ended on October 31, 1854 — 
only two years after the establishment of the first school in Humboldt 
county — there had been three common schools, ordinarily called public 
schools, in operation in the county, according to the report of the school 
officers regularly constituted. It appears that there were at that time one 
hundred and eighty-six children of school age entitled to education from 
what was known as "the state school money." Mrs. A. E. Roberts, in the 
district of Union, had taught school nine months, it appears, in the year 
1854. In the Eureka district the school was kept for three months during 
1853 by a man who is remembered by the old pioneers as an ambitious 
educator — George W. Gilkey. 

Bucksport was by no means neglected, for in the Bucksport district a 
school had been kept for three months in the year by Miss Louisa Wasgatt. 
In addition to the public schools at Union there had been a private school 
kept for part of the year. The Hon. A. J. Huestis was superintendent of 
schools in the year 1855, and in November, 1855, the Bucksport school 
district was organized. This included Bucksport, Table Bluff, Pacific, and 
the Eel river towns. 

We read that Maj. E. A. Howard succeeded Mr. Huestis and that dur- 
ing his administration the formation of new school districts was a matter 
of frequent discussion and great interest, as was the obtaining of competent 
school teachers. One of the problems of much interest in that time was, 
owing to the infrequency and uncertainty of the mails, the forwarding of 
reports to the state superintendent's office at Sacramento promptly. This 
was necessary for the reason that if reports did not arrive there in time the 
county did not receive its proper proportion of the school funds. 

Referring to the first school districts, it is found that in 1856 there were 
only three schools organized under the common law — at Bucksport, at 
Eureka, and at Areata. Bucksport was quite prominent and the citizens 
there built a first-class school house — first-class for the old pioneer da3^s — ■ 
which answered the purpose of a village church and town hall for certain 
occasions as well. It is said that the second story was finished by the 
Masons of the vicinity and that they used it for their meetings. It is 



100 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COITNTY 

worth noting that Eureka was not behind at that time and that a school 
building was finished there at that period. Areata had not shown so much 
public spirit in this respect as she has shown in later years, although a 
school had been kept there once and the number of pupils at one time was 
greater at Areata, or Union, than at any of the other posts or villages in 
the county; but the year after that Messrs. Jowby and Martin, of the trustee 
board, bought Henry White's house for $9000, one-half in cash, one-half to 
be paid in sixty days. The board caused this house to be fitted up tempo- 
rarily for the purposes of the school, and it was occupied by Mr. Desty for 
a school house in the year 1857. The next superintendent of schools in the 
county was Henry H. Severns, who reported in 1860 that the total number 
of districts in the county was nine; the number of school children in Hum- 
boldt county was five hundred and two, and the funds were in the aggre- 
gate $803.04; and the expenditure for all school purposes in the county 
was $7,036. 

We read that the Rev. W. L. Jones succeeded this gentleman as super- 
intendent of the schools. It is said that he was an energetic and earnest 
superintendent and did much for the cause of education in those pioneer 
times when there was great demand for work by the boys and compara- 
tively little interest in their educational affairs. Some years thereafter Mr. 
Jones went to Hilb, in the Hawaiian Islands, where he was in charge of a 
private institution, and where, also, he made a record as a good instructor. 

J. B. Brown, at present the pioneer educator of Humboldt county, a 
prominent Mason and leading teacher, was appointed superintendent of 
schools when the Rev. Mr. Jones resigned, after which he was elected con- 
tinuously to the office until he refused to accept the position. Much in 
favor of Mr. Brown was said in those days because as a superintendent and 
teacher for more than fourteen years he had successful charge of the schools 
of Eureka, which prospered under his able supervision, and schools there 
compared more than favorably with the larger schools of California. 

Following Mr. Brown's long and successful service, E. C. Cummings, 
who was the next superintendent, was engaged for a number of years as 
teacher in various parts of the county. He proved successful as a super- 
intendent, but previously to his term of office he had been an active member 
of the Board of Education and was re-elected to the office thereafter. He 
had no opposition at the first election, but at the close of his official term 
he withdrew from the profession of teaching. Perhaps it may be said that 
no county in the state of California ever developed more than Humboldt 
did during those times, for the school children increased in number and their 
parents were very much pleased to help the instructors. Twenty-four school 
districts then included all of Humboldt county- — all she could boast of in 
those days, but soon thereafter the number grew to fifty-six, and more 
than eighty teachers were employed to carry on that work. The school 
afifairs of the county were thereafter ably managed by J. B. Casterlin. 

During the year 1882 the superintendent apportioned from the state 
school funds of Humboldt county the sum of $158.50 to each teacher as- 
signed to the several districts, and an additional sum from the same fund of 
$7.95 per capita on the average daily attendance as shown by the last annual 
report preceding the time involved. Ten per cent of the state fund of each 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 101 

district was also set apart for library purposes, and there was appropriated 
from the county school funds $13.50 for each teacher. 

In the old days considerable attention was given to debating, so-called 
rhetorical exercises, spelling, and the idea of thoroughness in the ordinary 
studies pursued in the ordinary school. 

A number of the most prominent men of California — men eminent in 
the law, the ministry, medicine, and other professions — received their educa- 
tion during those strenuous days, in Humboldt county. 

It was the custom of the old teachers to limit the sttidies of their 
charges to a number within the comprehension of a child's mind. The so- 
called new fangled ideas did not receive much encouragement in those old 
days, but the fundamentals known as reading, writing, and arithmetic, were 
given special attention by those in charge of the education of the boys and 
girls of those distant times, many of whom have become prominent citi- 
zens of California in later days. 

It is impossible within the limits of a brief chapter even to indicate the 
lines of growth which have taken place in the educational field since the 
pioneer days of which we speak. Suffice it to say that the school system 
has been extended throughout the county, that the standard of efficienc}^ 
in teachers has been increased by reason of normal schools, and that the 
press, the pulpit, and the public at large have always supported the public 
school system of the cotinty, believing that the safety of the people de- 
pends upon the dissemination of knowledge among young men and young 
women. 

High schools have been constructed since those days, and Areata now 
has the Humboldt Normal, under the control of Prof. N. B. Van Matre, 
who was for several years a successful teacher and superintendent of clt}^ 
schools at Eureka. The new normal school has employed a number of 
eminent educators, and the outlook for educational matters is brighter, and 
the field is being enlarged, by reason of its activities. 

One regrettable occurrence must be referred to briefly in connection 
with the development of educational afifairs in Humboldt within the last few 
years. We refer to the bitter fight between Areata and Eureka for the 
site of the normal school. Areata won, but not without some bitterness 
and a number of criminations and recriminations that might well have 
been omitted, to the betterment of the entire coimty; for it is now generally 
believed that there can be no real prosperity if East shall fight West, North, 
South, hill, valley or any one part of the county, another. 

Eureka is now building (May, 1914) a large and modern high school at 
a cost of $150,000. Fortuna, Ferndale, and the other towns of the county, 
as well as the country districts, are enthusiastic for good schools. 



CHAPTER XV. 

Early Churches in Humboldt County. 

Fully ten years before the Civil war, when Humboldt county presented 
a wild spectacle to a comparatively small number of pioneers, many of 
whom were very wild themselves, there were churches in the county. 



102 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

The doctrines of Christ were being propounded, and the sublime lessons of 
the Sermon on the Mount were being thundered from pulpits among the 
forests. Man's spiritual welfare was not neglected, for a band of faithful 
men and women worshipped at humble shrines which were rudely con- 
structed, even as they had been taught to worship at the shrines of their 
fathers. Several old men and women, now residents of Humboldt county, 
remember the first services and like to dwell on the story of the chimes as 
they were heard breaking the silence of the wilderness in the far-away 
days of Humboldt's beginning. 

There seems to be little or no doubt that the history of churches in this 
county begins with a meeting appointed f or wo rship at Bucksport^ early in 
thesummer of 1850. The Rev. A. J. Huestis then occilpiedThe'puTpit and 
preached a stirring sermon. The services thereafter were held every Sun- 
day, withTew exceptions, until 1853. Then as a field for missionary work 
the Methodist Episcopal Conference supplied Humboldt county by the ap- 
pointment of regular ministers or pastors, of which, at Eureka, the Rev. 
James Corwin was the first. It is said that the first Sunday school class 
in Eureka was started by a Rev. Dr. Charles Hinckley, on November 27, 
1857. "The school house now standing and still used as such on the corner 
of G and Third streets," says a writer of 1882, did duty on the occasion 
of religious exercises and lectures, for all denominations. It has long ago 
been demolished, however, and the present city hall occupies the site. 

It is said that the first Methodist Church building in Eureka was con- 
structed and dedicated in 1859. For the purpose of calling the worshippers 
the bell was obtained through the efforts of the Rev. Charles W. Hinckley, 
the pastor. It was hung at first from the top of a large redwood stump 
which was not far from where the building stood. It was Mr. Hinckley's 
custom to ring the bell himself, and also preach the sermon. It is said 
that he was an eloquent man and that the sounding of the bell was almost 
always the signal for an influx of most of the citizens of Eureka. To this 
statement there must be some exceptions, for a number of men preferred 
gambling, drinking, horse racing, and like sports, to church. The pastor, 
however, was very popular in the olden day. 

The original building was sold and moved from the lot in 1866, thus 
destroying the interesting landmark — the first church at which services 
were ever held in Humboldt county. Another church was built and a 
heavy debt therefor was contracted, which hung over the congregation 
until 1874, when it was liquidated. The settlement of the debt was due 
very largely to the strenuous efforts of the Rev. Edward J. Jones, who 
was pastor and who bent every energy towards the accomplishment of his 
ambition. During the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. Haswell the building itself 
was very greatly improved. There were sittings for something like six 
hundred persons in the gallery and on the main floor. The parsonage, on 
the adjoining lot, was a modest and unpretentious cottage, well furnished, 
and it afforded the usual comforts and conveniences of a modern dwelling. 
The aggregate value of the church property was then $5,500. The first 
trustees of this church were G. D. Wilson, A. J. Huestis and B. L. Waite. 
The number of members of the church up to 1882 was something like 
eighty, but the highest number reached in the times prior to that was one 
hundred. A very good library was arranged for the church and the Sunday 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 103 

school and as early as 1879 there were some three hundred volumes for 
the use of two hundred and ten scholars. 

The Rohnerville Methodist Church was organized in 1852 by Wesley 
Harrow, who preached near Eel river on a place then owned by Robert 
Roberts, a prominent churchman of those times. In 1853 the services 
were conducted chiefly by two local ministers. They were J. Burnell and 
a Mr. Springfield, whose personal or Christian name has been lost to 
history. By the year 1854 this church was connected with the Eel River 
circuit, and James Corwin became the first regular pastor thereof. The 
charge was fairly prosperous and it was not long before it had fifty 
members. The pastor who followed, some years later, and had considerable 
success, was the Rev. H. H. Stevens, who preached frequently to the full 
capacity of the church, which was one hundred and fifty. 

The Methodists seem to have been in the ascendancy during those 
early years, for we read that the Methodist Episcopal church of Areata 
was also organized in 1850. The Rev. Asa B. White, the pioneer minister, 
in fact, of California, pitched his tent of blue cloth in San Francisco, where 
his voice was heard in prayer, in song, and in sermons as early as 1849. 
This remarkable man began his labors in Areata in the same old tent 
where afterwards stood Kirby's stables, and it was there that he organized 
the first church. Some years later the Rev. John B. Chisholm became a 
successful minister there. 

Contrary to the popular impression, Christ church, of Eureka, was not 
organized in the old pioneer days, for it does not date earlier than June 1, 
1870. Its services were held for a long time on every Sunday, and other 
services at the times appointed by the rector. On the evening of June 8, 
1870, the members of the parish met and elected a vestry which organizd 
by the election of Thomas Walsh, senior warden, and Robert Searles, 
junior Avarden. The vestry then called the Rev. J. Gierlow to the rectorship 
of the parish. This church was consecrated on February 5, 1871, by Rt. 
Rev. W. I. Kip, D. D., who afterwards became famous in California. The 
Rev. J. S. Thomson became rector on January 1, 1872, and was followed 
by the Rev. J. H. Babcock and the Rev. W. L. Githens. The Rev. H. D. 
Lathrop, D. D., of the Church of the Advent, San Francisco, accepted a call 
and entered upon his duties at Christ Church on July 14, 1878, and remained 
there for some years. The church with the rectory occupies one-quarter 
of a block handsomely enclosed with attractive yard. An old resident once 
wrote : "A chime of five bells, the gift of Mayor T. Walsh, rings out from 
its pinnacled tower its weekly invitations to worship and in the surprise 
of the moment takes the stranger back beyond the tall redwoods and the 
mountains to his distant home where he has perhaps heard similar chimes 
before. The interior appointments of Christ church are still continued as in 
the old days and are in harmony with the surroundings of the structure. 
The value of the parsonage was said to be $7,500 even in the old days, and 
its value has appreciated since." 

The United Brethren in Christ Church was situated at Rohnerville 
and the first minister sent there was Israel Sloan, who organized his first 
class on Eel river in 1862. The memory of this noble man's services is still 
dear to the old timers of Rohnerville, where he was buried in the old 
cemetery many years ago. In 1865 the first class Avas organized. The 



104 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

first minister was the Rev. J. B. Hamilton. The society had a comfortable 
church, a good parsonage, and two ample camp grounds. One was on 
Eel river and the other was about one mile north of Springville. The 
church was entirely free from debt soon after it was started. The 
membership remained at eighty-seven a long time and the Rev. D. F. Lane 
followed the founder of the congregation. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church at Ferndale was established away back 
during the Indian troubles and planted in the midst of very great and baffling 
difificulties. The country was a forest and the circuit was very large and in 
a dangerous country, embracing Petrolia and Rohnerville. The minister in 
charge was frequently exposed to the dangers of savages and the crossing 
of swollen streams in the course of his urgent duties. Dr. Morrow organ- 
ized this church in the year 1860. The Rev. F. H. Woodward was long in 
charge with seventy-five members, about a third of that number usually 
being probationers. The church property in those days consisted of two 
lots, a church parsonage, and other equipments, also a camp-meeting 
ground. The vakie of the church was $400, and it was without any debt 
to harass those in charge of aft'airs. 

The first Congregational Church in Eureka was organized on C^ctober 
30, 1860, but no record is extant showing the names of those who first served 
as trustees. It is known that Dr. Jonathan Clark, father of the present 
Mayor of Eureka, was president. The church was in charge of the Rev. 
W. L. Jones, who was its first pastor. He was a man of great industry and 
wide acquaintance, and many of the old-timers still remember him as a 
speaker of considerable ability. He was followed by the Rev. T. A. Hunt- 
ington. The greatest number of members appearing on the official minutes 
of the church in the old days was sixty-three, but it grew to a much larger 
membership a little later. The building and parsonage were neat and at- 
tractive in general appearance and for their respective uses were well fur- 
nished, being situated at the corner of Fovirth and D streets. The church 
property was valued at $6000 and as said before the congregation was pros- 
perous and out of debt. 

The Ferndale Congregational Church was organized on March 17, 1876. 
The first meeting of the society was held in a hall and afterwards in a large 
church building. On January 24, 1881, the church was free from debt and 
was dedicated with fitting ceremonies. Dr. Warren preached the dedicatory 
sermon, and Mr. Strong, whose Christian name has been forgotten, gave a 
resume of the work done by the society during the five or six years pre- 
ceding the meeting. The Hon. Joseph Russ aided the society very much 
during the early years by his donations. The church received from him the 
lumber for the building, also a splendid bell, and about one-sixth of the 
entire debt. The first pastor of the church was the Rev. E. O. Tade, and 
he was followed some years later by a prominent and popular man, by name 
Phillip Combe. The late A. Berding, Mrs. J. M. Lewis, and Dr. F. A. Alford 
were original and very active members of this church. The greatest mem- 
bership it had in those days was forty-one and the church property was said 
to be worth about $5000. 

The Presbyterian Church of Areata was organized on January 1, 1861. 
The Rev. Alexander Scott officiated as its first pastor and preached in the 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 105 

Methodist Episcopal Church for about sixteen months previous to the com- 
pletion of his own church building. The membership consisted at that time, 
strangely, of only three members, B. Wyman, George Danskin, and Sarah 
Nixon, the latter remaining a long time as an active member. The mem- 
bership soon grew, however, to fifty-five, and the church was dedicated on 
March 31, 1861. It and the parsonage were pleasantly located, occupying a 
quarter of a block under a neat inclosure and with attractive surroundings. 
There were two organs and a library of more than two hundred volumes 
valued at $2500. 

The United Brethren in Christ Church met in its own house of worship 
regularly on every Sabbath for a number of years, being organized in 1877 
with D. W. Burtner as pastor. Its membership long consisted of twenty- 
seven members and its property was a neat church and parsonage comfort- 
ably furnished, worth about $1500. 

The Roman Catholic Church at Eureka was organized in 1858 with the 
Rev. Father Thomas Crinion as first priest in charge. He was followed 
some years thereafter by the Rev. Father C. M. Lynch, who was very popu- 
lar. The central policy of this denomination obtained for it a unity in its 
material as well as spiritual relations, which was unknown to the other 
churches of that time. The membership in Eureka attending administra- 
tions of the church in those days or soon after its founding approximated 
twelve hundred. The church building and parsonage were neat in appear- 
ance and were pleasantly located. The church afforded seats for about four 
hundred persons, and had a value of $5000. The building itself was con- 
structed in 1861. Besides the foregoing the Catholic churches in the county 
in the early times were as follows : Ferndale Church, built in 1878, with a 
seating capacity of about two hundred; Table Bluff Church, built in 1869, 
had about a hundred and fifty members. The property was valued at about 
$500. The Rohnerville Church was built in 1871, with sittings for about a 
hundred and fifty. There were also churches at Areata and Trinidad. 

vSt. Joseph Convent of Alercy was situated in Eureka and occupied a 
block commanding one of the most diversified and beautiful views of the 
city and the ba}^ as well as the farther landscape of the surrounding country. 
Its inclosures were adorned with whatever of foliage and shrubbery and 
flowers could be obtained for the charming retreat. The institute, in charge 
of the Sisters of Mercy, enjoyed a high reputation in the olden days for its 
care and service. The ntimber of sisters was nine, and the pupils sixty. 
The value of the property was even then about $10,000. Since those old 
times every church has made great progress in the way of increasing mem- 
bership and making an improvement of the accessories of church life. 

New sects, such as the Christian Scientists, have grown vip since those 
far-away times, and there have been many church organizations to add to 
the activities of those who follow in the steps of the Lowly Nazarene. 

We might go into a detailed account of the work of the churches in 
more recent years, but that would be beside the purpose of a history such 
as this, which seeks to give the reader an idea of the beginning of things 
religious rather than an idea of the conditions which now exist. 



106 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

CHAPTER XVI. 
Gold Mining in Humboldt County. 

No history of industry would even approximate accuracy if it should omit 
some account of the early mining excitement and mining scenes in Humboldt 
county, which really got its first impetus from the mining industry along the 
Klamath river. It is interesting to hear the early settlers describe the old Gold 
Bluff excitement of 1852, a period when by all accounts even the ocean itself 
became a miner and washed up thousands of pounds of gold on the beach of 
Trinidad. The accounts of the gold found in those olden days read like a 
romantic story from the times of the Spanish conquest. 

In those years it was generally said and quite commonly believed that almost 
any man of good enterprise and muscle, stirred by ambition, could take his hat 
and a wheelbarrow, and in about an hour gather up enough gold to last him for 
a year or two. But this excitement, bad as it was for some things, really led to 
the settlement of the county, although it did not lead to fortunes for those who 
followed it. It frequently made people dissatisfied with everyday affairs and 
created a gambling craze. 

In the early days placer mining was followed with a considerable degree of 
success on the Klamath river, but the gold digging has always been of nominal 
importance when contrasted with lumbering and agriculture. Recent reports 
from the Government at Washington indicate that Humboldt county may have 
a new era of placer mining, especially if modern methods of looking for the 
black sand containing platinum are put into use. 

It should be remembered that the Klamath river country north of the 
great redwood belt is possibly the most inaccessible part of the county, con- 
taining many mountains and rocky stretches of country. It is even yet unex- 
plored. 

For a time quartz mining occupied considerable attention, and during the 
period of the quartz mining excitement a few very valuable mines were dis- 
covered. For a long period hydraulic mining was carried on to some extent, 
and at one time there were twenty-four miles of running ditches. During the 
year 1880 almost four thousand inches of water were used in mining operations 
each day. The hydraulic mining met with little or no embarrassment such as 
confronted it in the Sacramento Valley country where the bottom lands were 
practically destroyed by the hydraulic mining debris. Humboldt county has 
swift-flowing rivers and no bottom lands along their banks to be destroyed by 
hydraulic mining if it should be carried on in the north. 

For a long time a bench flume at Big Bar, which was eight miles below 
Orleans, was successfully worked by the hydraulic process. It yielded dividends 
for about five years, and it was the opinion of Judge J. P. Haynes at one time 
that this process would revolutionize all mining in the Klamath region. 

Prospecting was for a long time directed towards the high bars and benches 
on the Klamath which a number of persons believed would afford the best 
mining region in the state. The mining properties were owned very largely by 
private citizens, who pocketed their own dividends without consulting anybody 
else or any corporation. 

Orleans bar, a famous place upon the Klamath, was known for many years 
to the old miners, because the gold belts which run transversely throughout 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 107 

the Western states from Colorado, seem to terminate here on the Pacific coast. 
Placer mining was prosperous and a large amount of capital was invested in that 
enterprise. The early dreams of the placer and quartz miners were doomed to 
disappointment, however, for they failed to bring forth as much as had been 
hoped for in the way of profits. The beauty of the property when it was worked 
was that the slickens. which is a very serious question in some other parts of 
California, did not injure anyone on the land below. 

It should be said that gold has been found in almost every part of the 
county extending from Dobbyn's creek to the Trinity section and Scott's bar. 

An old writer says that the starvation times on Salmon river formed an 
interesting chapter in the history of that important region. So great was the 
fear of wintering that not half a hundred men were to be found on the stream 
in December, 1850. These had provided themselves with a sufficient supply of 
provisions and passed the winter comfortably. As soon as it was believed that 
the more rigorous part of the winter had passed, miners began to flock in 
from Trinity river, Trinidad, and Humboldt, and some came up the Sacramento 
river and even through the famous Scott valley. This was late in January, and 
early in February, 1851. Many of those from Trinidad and Humboldt were 
unprovided with supplies, as they bad expected to find them on the river, and 
knowing that there were pack-trains at those points preparing to bring in pro- 
visions, they were a little bit careless. The result was that although a few 
small trains arrived with supplies the provisions were soon eaten up and there 
was a crowd of several thousand men without anything to eat, and this is the 
reason that the name of "starvation camp" attached to the neighborhood. In 
the month of March a terrific snow storm set in, and blockaded the mountain 
trails so badly that it was impossible for pack trains to pass through to the 
relief of the unfortunate miners. One may still hear stories of the sufferings 
of those days when the miners were forced to live on mules, on sugar, and some- 
times got along half-starved, on almost nothing. The olden writers tell us 
that those who took their rifles and went hunting met with very poor success. 
We read of one man who killed two grouse and was offered $8 each for them, 
but he declined the sale, for he needed them himself. The extremity to which 
some of the men were reduced was very great and for more than a month not 
a pound of extra food beyond the scant provisions they had on hand came to 
their relief. x'\t last the packers got as far as Orleans bar, and- men who had 
made a trail through the snow took small packs on their shoulders and carried 
them across the mountains to their starving friends. The records say that 
toward the last of April a train of mules made its way through to Salmon 
creek and found a hearty welcome among the half-starved miners. Hundreds 
of men who had been snowed in had made their way over the mountains, some 
to Orleans bar, others to Trinity, and others to Scott's bar, and the newly dis- 
covered mines at Yreka Flat. They suffered terrible hardships on the way, and 
reached those places almost famished. 

Even in the olden days it was known that there were thousands of dollars 
to be made in the gold dust lying waste along the beaches of Humboldt county, 
but if it was a puzzle that could not be solved then, it is still a puzzle to capture 
the fleeting dust and flakes of gold from the sand. From Table Bluff to the 
Klamath river, over a distance of more than sixty miles, there is an almost 
unbroken gold-bearing sand beach exclusive of the Gold Bluff beach mining 



108 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

claims. The deposit is said to have accumulated from the crumbling debris of 
old gravel banks which came upon the beach and from the ample discharge of 
the waters of the Klamath river. 

This process of erosion and dissolution is going on continuously, and there 
is said to be not a panfull of sand along the entire expanse that will not show 
golden colors, while in many places where the action of the water has been 
just right the sands appear yellow in golden streaks. There were more than 
ten thousand acres of this gold-bearing sand worked between Table Blufif and 
the Klamath river for a time, and there are thousands of acres that might be 
utilized under modern methods today if those modern methods were to capture 
the secrets of utilizing the fine gold. 

The Gold BluiTs are located on the beach twenty-five miles north of Trinidad 
and nine miles south of the mouth of the Klamath river. In the days of the 
early gold excitement of California, Gold Blufif was one of the most notoriously 
rich of all the placers. After many years it still held a reputation as a steady 
paying proposition, but the amount of treasure taken out of its claims will 
never be exactly known. The gold-bearing gravel blufifs extend some eight miles 
on the beach, and in many places the beaches are a perpendicular wall of un- 
broken gravel three and even four hundred feet in height. 

Some years ago a writer describing the conditions obtaining in this region 
spoke as follows: "Every winter, after the parching of summer has cracked the 
earth, the soaking rains of winter caused large slabs of earth and gravel to cave 
in and split ofif the perpendicular face of the blufif, millions of tons falling upon 
the beach. At high tide the noisy surfs washed to the base of the clifif, which 
is subjected to incalculable washing and swashing during heavy storms. The 
cakes of gravel become dissolved and are ground to pieces and carried about by 
the action of the water." 

From time to time and during a long period of years efiforts have been made 
and a great deal of money has been invested in the attempt to save the fine gold 
that could be found in large quantities along the beach from Crescent City to the 
mouth of Little river. As heretofore said, this gold is very fine, a mere scale, 
and to separate it from the sand is the problem that has bafified the skill of almost 
all inventors. It is known that a large number of machines have been put 
on the market, "backed with claims that they would accomplish wonderful results, 
but as yet, the machine to do the work has not seen the light of day and most of 
the beaches which gave promise that they would make many men rich have been 
abandoned. It may be that some day the beach mines will be worked to advan- 
tage, but this can not be until great improvements have been made on the 
methods which now obtain. 

Recent reports by various departments of the Federal government indicate 
that placer mining may reach a stage of perfection which will enable many of 
the tracts of gold-bearing sand in Humboldt county to be worked to advan- 
tage. It should be said in conclusion that the government reports indicate that 
Humboldt county's placer mines contain, probably, some of the richest platinum 
possibilities to be found anywhere in the United States. At any rate the Hum- 
boldt county placer mines are destined to receive a great deal more attention 
from mining men, engineers, and scientists than they have ever received in 
the past. 




LOGGING IX THE REDWOODS 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 109 

CHAPTER XVII. 

History of the Lumber Industry. 

No history of Humboldt county would be truthful or at all complete 
without an exhaustive account of the great redwood forests and the lumber 
industry. Although the lure of gold first drew men to the wilds of this virgin 
region the lumbermen soon followed in the wake of the pioneer gold-hunter, 
and it was not many years before brawny men and women from the Atlantic 
seaboard — men acquainted with the logging business — began to see how they 
could lay the foundation for many fortunes by following the vocation which 
they and their forefathers had followed in the East. Some of the early settlers 
were much impressed with the great silence of the magnificent forests of gigantic 
trees which stretched over a vast expanse of lowland and hill from the northern 
to the southern limits of the county. 

When men like Bret Harte first beheld these glorious forests they began 
to wonder how old they were. It was not many years before men of science told 
them that these trees had reached maturity long before the birth of Christ, They 
were old when Daniel was thrown into the pit, before Cicero was born — before 
Plato tried to solve the mystery of human life, before mighty Caesar ruled the 
earth. For more than sixty years white men have stood with uncovered heads 
in these ancient groves, and men of faith have looked toward the infinite. Every- 
body has always been impressed with the fact that California has no com- 
petitor in the redwood industry, for no other state has ever contained this 
monarch of all trees. Washington and Oregon may boast of their pines and 
firs, but the redwood belt ends at the Oregon line. It is a narrow belt, following 
the coast rather closely at broken intervals. 

The durability of redwood was testified to by the fact that the cabins 
built by Captain Grant in the '50s were in good order, though they had stood 
the storms of the years between 1852 and 1885, since which they were gradually 
torn down by relic hunters and others. The walls were solid and sound, 
while both doors and windows had perfect joints. Strangely, too, the shingles 
gave unimpeachable evidence of the great merit of redwood. They had neither 
rotted nor shrunk, and a number of them v;cre on exhibition at the Columbian 
Exposition in Chicago in 1892. 

The history of the manufacture of lumber in Humboldt, the stages of 
l)rogress made from the first saw log to the present time, is a most interesting 
page in the record of progress and development of Humboldt county, but the 
general merits, the adaptability of this timber to supply the demands of commerce 
and of structural work, at once involve the question of the area covered — the 
entire belt — as an available source of supply. This can be estimated only 
approximately, for two reasons : The redwood, even where it is the sole occupant 
of the land, varies exceedingly in density ; and, second, in many places it is inter- 
mingled with white fir, spruce and pine, in quantity sufficient to constitute nearly 
or quite one-quarter of the area and total stand in feet; that is to say, of the 
estunated acreage of original standing timber in Humboldt county 125,000 acres 
may be accepted as timber other than redwood. The same illustration will apply 
to the wdiole belt. Humboldt and Del Norte contain that portion of the belt 
which is held to be the best stand, clearest timber. 



110 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

George A. Kellogg, for many years secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, 
has made a careful study of the redwood industry and of the forests themselves. 
He has written many booklets and newspaper articles on this subject. From those 
articles the following facts and paragraphs, many of them in his own language, 
are gleaned : He calls attention to the fact that the most prominent and inter- 
esting physical feature of the land lies in her unparalleled forest of redwoods. 
Aside from their consideration as factors in the commercial and industrial world 
these forests fascinate every beholder. He who sees them in their primeval 
majesty for the first time is likely to gaze upon their gigantic trunks and tower- 
ing spires in wonder and admiration that find no tongue. Nothing can be more 
awe-inspiring and impressive to the visiting stranger than to pause in the very 
heart of a dense forest, where the trees reach upward from two hundred to four 
hundred feet, completely shutting out the yellow shafts of light of even the 
brightest day, and casting twilight shadows among the boles and trunks of the 
giants. These scenes remind one of Em.erson's description of a forest as having 
the light and softness of perpetual morning. Like the sequoia gigantea, these 
immense trees now stand as the most remarkable monuments of vegetable growth 
on earth — gigantic in size, symmetrical and straight as an arrow^, firmly planted 
and strongly rooted. No wonder they impress the observer as the unmoved and 
changeless sentinels of the passing centuries, except that they grow larger, taller, 
and more grandly majestic as the centuries slip like shadows into the past. 

Almost from the initial settlement of Humboldt county in 1850, its mag- 
nificent redwood forests, reaching down to the very shores of Humboldt bay, 
indicated by the near conjunction of exhaustless timber and navigable waters 
what the principal industry of this favored region was to be. Hardly had the 
first settlements been efi^ected until enterprising spirits began to convert the 
endless forests into marketable lumber, and never since that time has the long 
procession of white winged sailing vessels, or their successors, the steam schoon- 
ers and the foreign tramp steamers, all laden with Humboldt redwood, ceased 
to dot the blue waters of the broad Pacific. Year in and year out 'this traffic has 
been maintained and increased, always holding sturdily its position as the main 
factor in the trade and commerce of Humboldt bay. And for many, many years to 
come will this pre-eminence be maintained. 

The beauty and majesty of these redwood forests have long impressed upon 
far-seeing people the great necessity of preserving a considerable tract of this 
timber as a public park for the benefit of future generations. And several efl^orts 
have been made along this line, but so far without successful result. At the 
present time a bill is pending before Congress which authorizes the appointment 
of a commission to visit Humboldt and investigate the necessity and advisability 
of securing some tract of these trees as a public reserve and park. And recently 
a large timber owner, Charles Willis Ward, now resident here, has initiated a 
plan to secure a tract of some fifteen thousand to twenty thousand acres, the 
plan being to obtain large subscriptions from wealthy and public-spirited citizens 
sufficient to cover a considerable portion of the cost, and then ask the govern- 
ment to make up the balance. It is sincerely to be hoped that one of these efforts, 
or a combination of the two of them, will bring about the desired result. 

The redwood forest in Humboldt extends in an irregular but compact belt 
from the southern to the northern boundary of the county, parallel to and near 
the coast, for a distance of about one hundred and eight miles. It varies in 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 111 

width from two or three miles to ten and even fifteen miles, averaging about 
five miles in width. Originally there were about 538,000 acres of this remark- 
able timber in Humboldt, of which some 458,000 acres are still standing. At the 
commonly accepted estimate of 100,000 feet of all timber products to the -acre, 
there is still 45,800,000,000 feet of uncut redwood in Humboldt, sufficient to last 
for more than a century at the present rate of cutting. 

The stumpage value of this great timber belt is an immense present and 
future resource of this section. Twenty years ago this value ranged from fifty 
cents to $1 per thousand feet. Now the minimum price is $2 per thousand, and 
as high as $4, and even more^ has been paid for tracts with especially favorable 
locations. And these prices will be steadily augmented as other available timber 
sources grow scarcer, and as the demand increases with the growth of population 
throughout the country. 

Applying the present minimum value of $2 per thousand feet to the forty-five 
billion feet of standing redwood and we find that this one resource of Humboldt 
county is now $90,000,000, and this value is constantly increasing. And it is safe ; 
for redwood forests in their natural state will not burn. Being without resin, and 
protected by thick, non-inflammable bark, and with the constant condensation 
of moisture from the foggy atmosphere of Humboldt due to the thick and heavy 
stand of these great trees, it is impossible for fire to gain any headway, or to do 
any serious damage to these compact standing forests. 

Redwood has no pitch, and the acid in it seems to resist combustion. It is 
difficult to ignite, and a fire of it is easily extinguished. It strongly resists decay, 
the lower portions of the trunk especially, being the equal if not the superior of 
any known wood in this respect. No known land insect will prey upon it, and only 
the teredo, against which marine scourge no wood is proof, will injure it. Red- 
wood shrinks but little in drying, and none at all after that. Neither will it, when 
once dry, swell to any extent on being wet. Its shrinkage lengthwise is, propor- 
tionately, much greater than across the grain. It is little affected by extremes of 
weather conditions, and so is especially adapted for patterns, mouldings, tanks, 
vats, flumes, house finishings, and railroad ties. 

Its color is a rich red, varying from that of light red cedar to the deepest 
mahogany. In general appearance and qualities it resembles red cedar more than 
any other wood. Quite a percentage of it is curly grained, and this variety is 
especially adapted for interior finishing in its natural color. The great size of the 
tree and its freedom from knots render it possible to get planks of almost any 
desired width without knot or flaw. Much of this lumber shipped to Australia 
and other foreign countries as "rough clear" is in great planks of pieces six or 
eight inches in thickness, and from twenty-four to thirty-six inches or more in 
width, absolutely clear. Redwood is soft in texture, and easy to work. This, 
taken in connection with the extra widths that may be had, and its weather endur- 
ing qualities, make it a most convenient and serviceable wood for building pur- 
poses. 

The manufacture of lumber in Humboldt began in 1850, but was at first 
confined to pine, spruce, and fir, as the great size and weight of redwood logs 
placed them beyond the primitive facilities of that early date to handle and saw. 
Nor were the good qualities of redwood as a lumber known to the pioneer 
lumbermen of that day, while they were familiar with the other woods men- 



112 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

lioncd. In 1855 the first cargo of redwood lumber was sawed and shipped to 
San Francisco. In 1862, the introduction of the circular saw gave additional 
impulse to this industry. In 1886 the band saw began to replace the circular saw, 
and its economy of timber and other advantages soon gave it the lead, and now 
all tlie mills in the county are fully outfitted with band saws, which, perfected 
by time and experience, seem now to be the acme of progress in this direction. 
In the beginning, the old-fashioned sash or muley saw mill would cut from 4,000 
to 8,000 feet per day. Now a single band saw mill is rated at from 60,000 to 80,000 
feet per day, while a double band mill, especially if provided with a band splitter, 
may produce from 200,000 to 240,000 feet of lumber per day. The eleven large 
mills now operating in the county are rated as having an aggregate capacity of 
1,500,000 feet of lumber per day, or 450,000,000 feet in a working year of three 
hiiiKired days. 

The improvement in methods and facilities in logging has fully kept pace 
with the advancement of the mills. Owing to the great size and weight of the 
trees and their thick stand on the ground, redwood logging offered many prob- 
lems not met with in other woods, but these conditions have been met and con- 
quered, and now redwood logging moves along smoothly and systematically, con- 
ducted by men who know how. In the beginning, the logs handled were small and 
comparatively light, and they were moved by means of oxen, on bob-sleds. Soon 
heavy trucks with solid wooden wheels replaced the sleds, but with oxen still 
as the motive power. In the early '70s the oxen were partially replaced by horse 
teams. About 1874, logging railways were introduced, and in 1882 the steam 
donkey began to be used to assemble the logs in the woods. Ten years later the 
heavy and powerful bull donkey came in. At first these were mostly stationary, 
but later on they were made removable, making changes of location readily 
practicable. And now the bull donkey and the logging railway have replaced all 
other forms of logging machinery and adjuncts, and the glory of the ox team 
and the horse team as essentials in redwood logging has passed away forever. 
One of the unique features of redwood logging still further illustrates the security 
of this timber from fire. After the trees are felled, freed from limbs and the bark 
peeled off, a fire is set and all the trash and underbrush burned off. These 
fires never penetrate the adjacent standing forest, and the logs on the ground are 
seldom appreciably injured. In no other commercial timber would this pro- 
ceeding be possible. 

Prior to 1889 no attempt was made to record the output of the mills or the 
shipments of lumber from the county. But by figuring from the amount of land 
cut over during that period it is estimated that the total lumber production from 
1885 to 1888, inclusive, was about 2,500,000,000 feet, of an approximate value 
of $40,000,000. 

Beginning with 1889 fairly accurate records have been kept of the ship- 
ments from the county, no attempt being made to include the amounts used 
within the county, although the amount so used is considerable,, as practically 
every building and structure in the county is built in whole or in part of red- 
wood. It should be remembered that the following figures include not only 
what is commonly known as "lumber," but also any and every form of manufac- 
tured timber, such as shingles, shakes, posts, bolts, ties, etc., that is capable of 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 



113 



The figures from 1889 to 1913, both 



reduction to approximate lumber feet. 

inclusive, are as follows: 

Year Feet Value 

1889 120,545.800 $2,296,135 

1890 161,455,000 3,067,645 

1891 152,517,613 2,897,834 

1892 166.855,262 2,502,828 

1893 152.749.713 2,222,610 

1894 111.751,264 1.588.570 

1895 128,785.709 1,795.410 

1896 100,460,581 1,320,005 

1897 133,717,278 1,778,085 

1898 , 128,291,255 1,802,330 

1899 • 163.640,590 2,336,000 

1900 162,635.560 2,242,520 

1901 218.280,060 3,148,060 

1902 221,595,486 3,830,410 

1903 272,054,860 4,816,600 

1904 274,054.860 4,816.600 

1905 313.495,560 5,632.300 

1906 360,671,090 7,201,000 

1907 374,539.400 7,702,205 

1908 300,804,570 " 6,101,820 

1909 339,891,500 6,093,000 

1910 368,527,700 6,552,560 

1911 • 367,139,720 6,505,460 

1912 415,925,400 7.494.500 

1913 369.633,766 6.820,800 
Totals for twenty-five years, 1889 to 1913, 5,880,422,877 feet; value, $102,- 

525,607. Totals for thirty-four years, 1855 to 1888, 2,500.000,000 feet; value, 
$40,000,000. Grand totals, fiftv-nine years to 1914, 8,380,422,877 feet; value, 
$142,525,607. 

The above figures seem stupendous when considered as the result of only 
one industry (although the principal one) of Humboldt county, for the fifty-nine 
years from 1855 to 1914. But when one reflects that less than one-sixth of the 
available redwood in this county has been cut and manufactured, the immense 
potentiality of the remaining timber resource may be in some measure realized. 

On this one industry alone Humboldt might live and thrive through the next 
century; for it is certain that for all that time to come the hum of the band saw 
or some improved machine, as it eats its way through the giant logs of the Sequoia 
Sempervirens, monarch of all commercial timbers, will make sweet music for 
the ears of the lumber manufacturers of fortunately endowed and happy Hum- 
boldt. 

Under the American development, so far as the authentic accounts give us 
history, the manufacture of lumber in Humboldt was commenced in 1850, but 
the manufacture of redwood for the lumber market did not commence until 1855. 
Those who engaged in the lumbering business were eastern men, from the 
Provinces, and from Maine, accustomed to the pine, spruce and fir of that region. 
They knew those and kindred varieties of timber, and their adaptability to the 



114 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

manufacture of lumber and construction work, but by reason of both the inca- 
pacity of the mills at that time to handle the large redwood logs, and lack of 
knowledge as to their adaptability for lumber manufacture, no redwood was 
manufactured or shipped from Humboldt till 1855. As a proof of this statement, 
it is only necessary to mention the fact that the first cargo of lumber was 
manufactured and shipped in 1851 ; it was sawed at the "Pappoose" mill, 
owned by Martin White, which had a capacity of about four thousand feet 
a day. From that initial cargo of lumber from Humboldt in 1851 to the summer 
of 1855, all the lumber manufactured and shipped from Humboldt bay was spruce, 
pine and fir. 

In the summer of 1855, the Muley mill (then operated by William Carson), 
by picking out the smaller logs, and not handling anything that exceeded five feet 
in diameter, got out a cargo of 200,000 feet of redwood lumber and shipped it 
to San Francisco on the brig Tigress. From that time on, the manufacture of 
redwood increased but slowly up tO' 1862, mainly on account of the incapacity of 
the sash and Muley saws to cut the huge logs. In 1862 the circular saw was intro- 
duced, when the manufacture of redwood gradually attained greater dimensions. 

As early as 1852 a commission was appointed, composed of Hon. James 
T. Ryan and W. H. Kingsbury on the part of the mill-owners, and William 
Carson on the part of the loggers, to adopt a standard of measurement for the 
scaling of logs. They decided that all logs twelve feet long and sixteen inches 
and up to and including thirty inches in diameter, should be measured by the 
Spaulding scale, and that all over that size should be measured by the Scribner 
scale. These provisions for log measurement applied to spruce, pine and fir only. 
There was never in the pioneer days, and is not now, any exact rule, method 
or scale by which to measure redwood, on account of the size, shape and pecu- 
liarities of the timber; then as now it was scaled by a method made up of both 
the Spaulding and Scribner rules, combined with the judgment of the scaler. 
The logs for the first few years were cut where Eureka now stands and rolled into 
tlie bay and floated to the several mills. 

While Humboldt was not the first to manufacture redwood into lumber, 
yet, after 1862, when the circular saw came into use, it soon took and has always 
held a leading position as a source of redwood lumber for both the San Fran- 
cisco market and the lower coast. Thus it is seen that in the last fifteen years 
the lumber cut has trebled in volume, and those in best position to know, hold 
that the outlook is favorable for a twenty-five per cent increase in production the 
present year, over that of 1903. 

From the crude methods in vogue in 1851, w'hen the first sawlog was rolled 
into Humboldt bay, the successive stages of improvement in lumbering form an 
interesting chapter in the history of Humboldt's progress. The first logs handled 
were small, and were moved by means of ox teams on bob-sleds ; then heavy 
trucks with solid wooden wheels, bound with heavy iron bands, were employed 
for the longer distances. Thus the pioneer lumbermen worked, selecting such 
logs ag they were able to handle with the means they had. 

The more notable improvements that have been made in the half century 
from 1852 to 1903 may be summed up briefly as follows: In 1862 the circular 
saw was introduced ; this brought the need of surer, quicker means of getting logs 
to the mill; the steam locomotive and railroad were put in operation in 1874; 1882 
the steam donkey ; 1886 the band saw, 1892 the bull-donkey. Each advance seemed 



/ 

HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 115 

to solve and settle the problem of the need of better methods, but each in turn 
has developed accentuated needs in other directions, and now when it would seem 
that perfection had been so nearly reached, we are at this date promised new 
methods as important as any that have preceded, in the electric saw for felHng 
trees and sawing logs. 

Redwood is a soft timber, yet among the many varieties of timber that have 
come prominently to the front in construction work, it is safe to say that none 
has developed so many and excellent qualities, or such wide range of adaptability 
as the redwood of California. In classifying lumber cut from redwood lands into 
three classes, the proportion would be as follows : The first quality would average 
fifty-five per cent; second quality thirty per cent; the refuse or third quality, 
fifteen per cent. Each one of these is often subdivided into several grades. 
The third class is divided into two or three grades, and is used extensively for 
doors, windows, panel-work, wainscoting and all construction in which short ma- 
terial can be used. 

The market for redwood at the present time covers a wide field besides the 
United States. Looking over the destinations of foreign shipments, one will find 
cargoes of redwood going to England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New 
Zealand, Sandwich Islands, Mexico and New South Wales. 

In the matter of testimony and proof as to the many merits of redwood, 
it would be impossible to give them all. A few are appended which have served to 
crystallize the minds of the people upon the facts as they exist. It is certain that 
no timber has been so much relied on, or so carelessly used, with such general 
good results. In the hurry and rush of the wonderful development of the west- 
ern shore, redwood has been used in every need in structural work ; taken drip- 
ping with sap or water from the forest or pond, run through the saw mill, and 
hurried into place without a day's time in which to season, used for main tim- 
bers or for furnishing, it is only occasionally that a piece shows the effect of 
shrinkage upon becoming dry ; and it takes paint and holds it equally well in any 
condition. 

One writer has put it that "San Francisco, a city of 400,000 inhabitants, with 
over three-fourths of its buildings sided and shingled with redwood, need not 
be ashamed to compare fire records with any city in the United States, whether 
built largely of brick or other materials/' so slow is it to ignite, and easily 
extinguished when fired. 

Eureka, a city built entirely of redwood, with the lumbering, mills built 
all along its northern edge, thus subjecting the whole city to the fire risks from 
the line of mills during the northern trade winds, has never had a destructive 
conflagration, such as has visited every other California city once or more. 

All the Pacific coast railroads use redwood ties on all their lines as far as the 
cost of transportation will allow. Their testimony is that redwood ties do not 
rot and are impervious to the attack of all insects by reason of the acid the wood 
contains. 

After reviewing the non-combustible qualities of redwood, Charles Towe, 
fire marshal of San Francisco, says: "I sincerely hope we shall never see other 
woods substituted for redwood; and I wish the proper authorities would throw 
the mantle of protection around our redwood, so as to prohibit its total destruc- 
tion." 



116 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

George H. Tyson, general agent for the Pacific department of the German 
American Insurance Company of New York, writes : "From an intimate knowl- 
edge of the fires that have occurred on this coast during the last sixteen years, 
I can state without fear of contradiction, that as slow-burning wood, the Cali- 
fornia redwood has no equal. In the insurance business on this coast, it is a 
well-known fact that in our coast counties, where redwood is largely used for 
the construction of frame buildings, a much lower rate is charged than in the 
northwest district and mountain counties of California where other woods are 
exclusively used." 

W. H. Curtis, of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, says : "As indi- 
cating the great life of this timber against ordinary decay, I have pleasure in 
informing you that we have today left in sidetracks not very much used, some 
redwood ties which were put into service in 1855. On other parts of the line, 
we have in service many ties that were laid from twenty-five to thirty years ago. 
For the siding and roofing of cars, for the foundations, siding and roofing of 
buildings and for water tanks, this timber is the most durable of any that I 
know of, and when used for building purposes it has the valuable quality of not 
being easily set on fire, and when set on fire, it burns very slowly." 

H. J. Small, superintendent of motive power and the machinery department 
of the Southern Pacific Railroad, testifies to substantially the same facts. 

W. B. Storey, of the Santa Fe Railroad, concluding a letter of some length 
commending redwood for car work and railroad construction, says : "In conclu- 
sion, I would say that we consider it one of our most valuable woods in railroad 
construction, and I heartily recommend its use for all purposes as above de- 
scribed." 

It is interesting to note that many attempts were made in early days to 
extend the use of redwood into the commercial channels of the East. Owing to its 
softness it is barred from many uses common to pine and other competing lum- 
ber. During the last eight or ten years many efiforts have been made to use 
redwood for railroad ties. These efforts have been partly successful, especially 
in Africa and Australia. 

Where large ants abound the railroad companies have long been hunting 
for a wood possessing durability and unattractive to the large ants. Reports from 
Africa indicate that, while the ants destroy the redwood in time, they eat it very 
slowly. In Australia the orders for redwood ties have been increasing rapidly 
during the last few years, and it is believed that it has proved distasteful to the 
ants of that country. Owing to the softness of the wood it is necessary to use 
flanges unless the sinker redwood — being heavier and tougher than the other — is 
used. 

It may be interesting to note the following facts concerning some of the 
uses to which redwood has been put. In 1897 B. F. Durphy, then of the Vance 
Redwood Company, selected and shipped to the New England Piano Company, 
in Boston, Mass., a cargo of redwood, and it was made up into piano cases and 
exhibited. It was a special exhibit at their salesroom on Washington street and 
attracted much interest and attention. It was placed side by side with the fine 
mahogany, rosewood, black w^alnut and ebony pianos, and was considered as 
fine, beautiful and desirable an instrument as any made. This test of the use of 
redwood for piano cases has been so completely successful and satisfactory that 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 117 

it has become very popular and in great demand for the fine finish of costly- 
houses throughout New Exigland. 

The well-known piano firm of Vose & Sons, in Boston, Mass., one of the 
largest piano firms in the United States, in 1898 ordered several carloads of red- 
wood, to be worked up into piano cases. In the early history of piano manu- 
facture, Mr. Vose had a thorough test made of all the different woods grown 
in the United States and in some foreign countries, and it was demonstrated and 
established beyond all question that redwood made the most perfect sounding 
board for pianos ; besides, it had a great advantage in that it w^ould not 
warp, twist or crack. 

In 1874 Abbott & Co., of Boston, Mass., large lumber dealers, loaded five 
milHon redwood shingles on one of their ships in San Francisco, and transported 
them to Boston. The next year these shingles were sold to the Fitchburg Railroad 
Company. This company had a large stockyard out at Uniontown, and had 
erected sheds for sheltering their stock. The roofs of these sheds were covered 
with a patent roofing, but on account of the flat pitch of the roof it proved unsat- 
isfactory. The company had this patent roofing removed and a part of it replaced 
with redwood shingles. The other roofs were replaced with some shingles from 
New England and Michigan. Those replaced with the New England and Michi- 
gan shmgles were completely worn out and decayed in 1897. In 1892 there were 
but a very few cedar shingles left on some of the roofs. In 1898 the redwood 
shingles that had been used on the other roofs were sound and all on the roof 
and in perfect condition, so far as their being warped and decayed is concerned ; 
the only breaches being where the nails had rusted off and the wind had blown 
the shingles away. 

There was adjoining these sheds a large stock barn which was built five years 
later than the date the shingles were placed on the shed ; this barn was shingled 
with New England shingles, as the railroad company could procure no more red- 
wood shingles ; the roof was very much steeper and the shingles should have 
lasted much longer than the shingles on the shed, but were completely decayed and 
the barn nearly bare of shingles in 1892. In 1890 the Fitchburg Railroad Com- 
pany made inquiries of all tlie New England lumber dealers who would be likely 
to have redwood shingles, with the object of getting them for the purpose of 
reshingling these buildings, and they refused to accept any but redwood shingles. 

It is a common method in vogue among the lumber dealers in and around 
Boston to send their customers out to the old Union Stock Yards of the Fitch- 
burg Railroad Company, to show them that there is no shingle known having 
the value and durability of the redwood shingle ; and those shingles, used in 
1874, are now the strongest argument they can and do use against other shingles 
and in favor of the redwood. 

William Roch, who was a director and the purchasing agent of the Santa 
Fe Railroad when it was first put in operation in the Central states, was the first 
purchasing agent of what is now the Santa Fe system in California. Mr. Roch 
purchased and shipped around the Horn from Boston a large quantity of ma- 
chinery, cars, engines, railroad iron, etc., and on the return trip ladened the sev- 
eral vessels employed with redwood. He used a part of these cargoes to build 
his summer residence at the sea-shore in those earlier days. That residence at 
the sea-side is now one of the most perfect buildings there. It was built entirely 
of redwood lumber and redwood shingles ; the doors and window frames are 



118 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

perfect, never having warped or twisted, and the shingles on the roofs are the 
same that were put on when it was built twenty years ago. They are in much 
better condition than those on many other fine residences built ten or fifteen 
years later. This residence in the far east is a monument of credit to the excel- 
lence and durability of redwood, and is continually referred to as proof of its 
many merits by lumber merchants. 

In 1899, after the loss of the Boston and Portland (Me.) steamship, the 
steamship company entered into a contract for the building of a magnificent 
steamer to take the place of the one lost, to run from Boston to Portland, Me. 
The steamer was to cost nearly $2,000,000, and there was great competition among 
lumber dealers to secure the order for furnishing the lumber. The matter was 
submitted to a board of architects, who examined all the woods to be used in 
the finishing work, both plain and ornamental, and the contract was awarded 
to Mr. Smith of the Bartlett Lumber Company, to furnish this finishing material, 
and the specifications called for redwood for this purpose. Among the statistics 
used in reaching this decision were important facts furnished by the late H. D. 
Bendixsen of Humboldt, in his report to the board of architects, who investi- 
gated the subject; which report convinced the board of the superiority of redwood 
for inside finish for cabins, staterooms, etc. 

Another still more notable triumph for redwood in the various tests in 
fine and rich finishing work was presented at the World's Fair at Chicago, by 
che Pennsylvania Railroad Company. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, in 
1892, built a magnificent train of passenger coaches to run from New York to 
Chicago. Immediately following this move, the New York Central ordered a 
richly finished train built, which was accounted a finer equipment. The Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad then ordered another splendidly finished and appointed train to 
best their competitors of the New York Central ; and again the New York 
Central followed suit by ordering another train to compete in magnificence and 
out-do the Pennsylvania Company in richness and beauty. Then the Pennsyl- 
vania Company, after considering the course pursued by their competitors care- 
fully, went to George Pullman and explained the situation, and what they wanted, 
which was to have the finest passenger train in the world to run from New York 
to Chicago, and it was left entirely to him how, and of what materials it should 
be constructed — the only point insisted upon was that it should be the most com- 
pletely equipped and magnificently appointed train in the. world. Mr. Pullman 
drew a plan for a train of cars in which were included an observation car, 
library car, dining car, and several compartment sleeping cars. In the specifica- 
tions for the work the material selected for all of the inside finish was redwood. 
When placed upon the road it was acknowledged then, and for a long time after- 
wards, to be the most magnificent and complete railroad train in the world. 

Other uses for redwood are almost past enumeration. It goes to the Argen- 
tine Republic and to the East India Islands, where the red ant is known to be so 
destructive to all other woods, which they perforate, eat and destroy, while the 
redwood remains wholly untouched. It is used for doors, window frames, etc., 
where the people are able to purchase it in these distant localities. 

Mr. Hearst, proprietor of the New York Journal, has finished his private office 
in the various qualities and dififerent grains of redwood. The effects are beyond 
description. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 119 

In 1898 a folding bedstead of redwood was made in San Francisco by one 
of the bankers there and sent t6 the ruler of Denmark as a present, and it was 
placed in his sleeping apartment for his personal use. 

Some time ago an order was received here from the Chicago Curtain Pole and 
Fixture Company for fifty car loads of lumber, being intended for ironing boards, 
cake-boards, screen-door frames, curtain poles, mouldings, picture frames, etc. 

The scientific wood expert of the New York Central Railroad Company, 
being instructed to make an exhaustive test of all woods available, and par- 
ticularly of cypress and redwood, as to their value and adaptability for car- 
building, reported to H. Walter Webb, third vice-president and manager of the 
road, in favor of redwood for sheathing, siding and roofing, on account of its 
quality for holding. paint, resisting fire, and that it does not warp or shrink, and 
is least subject to decay. 

At present and for four years past, the first architects in Boston have made 
it a rule to embrace in all specifications to contractors, in all cases where Oregon 
and Washington shingles are to be used, that such shingles shall be well soaked 
in water before putting in place, for the reason that if put on dry and ordinarily 
close together, when wet, they will swell, crowd and warp to such an extent as to 
draw the nails and seriously injure the roof. No such provision is made in regard 
to redwood shingles, as they are aftected by the elements in only a very small 
degree. 

The superintendent of the Boston and Maine Railroad built himself a fine 
residence in Exeter, N. H., and after careful observation and examination of all 
woods available for that purpose, decided that nothing but redwood should go 
into its construction. 

In 1898 there were sent to Boston fifty doors made from redwood. These 
were placed on exhibition in the Mechanics Fair, after which they were given 
away — distributed among the various door manufacturers and dealers as sam- 
ples. From this one practical advertisement, there are at present orders with 
one door company here for over one hundred thousand doors ; this result coming 
directly from the free distribution of those fifty doors. 

It would be hard to conceive of a limit to the uses of redwood, or to the 
possible market for it, if systematic and united effort were made to place before 
the people of sections where it is unknown the practicable evidences and testi- 
monies of its merits, which may be had by diligent inquiry. The possibility for 
the expansion of the trade has been greatly enhanced since the freight rates from 
Humboldt to points east of the Rocky mountains and the Mississippi have been 
decreased and systematized. At this time redwood shingles can be shipped from 
Humboldt bay to Chicago on a sixty cent rate and to New York and Boston 
via the Isthmus on a sixty-seven and a half cent rate, being the same rate allowed 
to other lumber districts. These reduced rates have made it possible for redwood 
to be used in the Eastern states, and thus bring a demonstration and comparison 
of its merits home to the people in the various localities, particularly its superior- 
ity over all other soft woods as a finishing material and as shingles. 

While the use of the higher grades of redwood is by these reasons increased 
in the various branches of construction work, increased use for the lower and 
poorer grades is also extending. Quite an amount is now being used by the 
asphalt manufacturers. Since the development of the oil wells the industry has 
brought into use large quantities of the poorer grades for barrel purposes. 



120 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

A popular make of lead pencils, "Dixon's Sequoia," proves that soft clear 
redwood is not surpassed by cedar or other woods for that purpose. For general 
or special purposes redwood is thirty-five to forty per cent cheaper than Oregon 
or Washington cedar or eastern pine. While among other woods the range of 
adaptability is narrow, redwood covers nearly every known use in construction 
work, for under ground or above ground work, for both inside and outside finish, 
for heavy work and light work, for durability or ornamentation. 

Wherever the possibilities of transportation place it in competition with other 
woods on equal ground, the redwood scores a success without fail ; and now that 
transportation is placing this lumber on the eastern seaboard at figures that 
make its use in the construction of fine residences possible, it may be reckoned 
upon as certain that in the very near future the now worthless gigantic stumps 
will develop a value, and specially constructed mills will before long be erected 
to reduce them to merchantable building material, particularly for fine finishing 
work. 

Next in importance to redwood is the timber known as Oregon pine, a 
species of fir. It is found mixed with redwood in the eastern edge of the red- 
wood belt, and beyond that occurs in large and compact bodies. Within the past 
couple of years, since all of the redwood lands have been taken, investors have 
turned their attention toward the pine, and already much of it has been located. 
Pennsylvania capitalists have just concluded a deal by which they have come 
into the possession of 127,000 acres of pine lands lying in the eastern portion of 
Humboldt and the western portion of Trinity county. They have made arrange- 
ments for the building of a railroad some sixty miles long into this tract, and have 
plans drawn for the erection of mills, one in the timber and another on the shores 
of this bay. Construction of the plant will begin this sprin (1915), as soon as 
the weather will permit of the work being prosecuted to advantage. This will 
be the first operation of any consequence in the pine forests of Humboldt. 
Heretofore the only timber of that kind cut was for the ship-building yards, 
and was simply taken as it happened to be found with the redwoods. 

There are other bodies of pine being held for investors, and it is only a 
question of a siiort time before they will be sold and plants erected to convert 
them into lumber. 

Of the mixed timbered lands, three-fifths to three-quarters is oak of the 
various species. The gathering of tan bark has become an important industry, 
but in this business, under present conditions, there is an almost criminal waste 
of millions of feet of most valuable wood, for the tan bark oak makes an excel- 
lent furniture timber, and is particularly adapted to chair-making. Thousands 
of cords of this wood are stripped of the bark every season, and left to rot on 
the mountain side. 

The quality of tan bark found in this county is the very highest, partly explain- 
ing the fact that the leather made by the Devlin tannery took the highest award 
at tlie World's Fair and other expositions. Thousands of cords of tan bark have 
been shipped out of the county, and there are still many thousands of cords to be 
gathered. The exports of tan bark will be less in the future probably, as there 
is now being operated at Briceland, in the southern part of the county, a plant to 
extract the active principle from the bark and put it in the form of a. solid, 
looking something like resin, but of a dark red color. The importance of this 
industry may be gauged by the fact that this plant cost over $25,000, and yet will 
draw upon only a comparatively small portion of the tan bark area of the county. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 121 

The plant is owned by the Wagner Leather Company, of Stockton, Cal. 

The pepper wood, or California laurel, is a hard, beautiful wood, adapted 
to furniture and wooden ware, and is considerably used in mill and machine work. 
The black and white oaks are by no means devoid of merit, being strong, firm and 
durable, but have not as yet come into general use, mainly because their merits 
have not become known, and also because they are more difiicult of access. 

Madrone will rank next to oak in quantity of acreage, though it never 
occurs in bodies, being scattered through the oak, or redwood, but mainly occu- 
pying the higher ground and crests of the ridges, as is also the case with the oaks. 
The madrone has a future before it as a furniture wood when there is need for 
it and manufacturers have learned to treat it successfully. When seasoned 
it is very hard and strong. The tree presents a beautiful appearance, giving a 
brilliant touch of color to the woods, with its bright red bark. 

No article concerning the manufacture of redwood would be complete with- 
out a statement of the wages paid those whose labor results in the finished 
product. The range is from $1 to as high as $10 per day, depending upon the 
class of work and the skill necessary to execute it. The lowest wage mentioned 
is for boys in the sash and door factories and the planing mills. Most of them, 
however, receive $1.50 per day. The wages of the men in the woods and in the 
mills varies from $2.50 to $10. Ordinary rough labor commands the former 
price ; from that the gradations are according to the skill necessary, the top 
figure of course, being paid to the foremen of departments and superintendents. 

These figures include board, and it must be said that the table set for the 
laborers, both in the woods and at the mills, is far above that of other lumbering 
sections. The very best of food is furnished, and in great variety. In fact, 
visitors have often remarked, after partaking of the hospitality of the camps, 
that they had been better fed than at many first-class hotels. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Activity in Many Towns. 

Previous chapters have given the reader a pretty fair idea of the early set- 
tlements in the untrodden wilds of Humboldt county, but no history would be 
adequate without some account of the activities of more recent years, together 
with a review of some of the conditions that promise to make Humboldt county 
a much more thrifty community than it is today. It should be said that there have 
been great activities by reason of the projected highway and the approaching com- 
pletion of the Northwestern Pacific Railway, which will for the first time connect 
Humboldt county with the wide world. 

Recent plans for the improvement of towns and the building of new ones, 
as in the case of Fort Seward, originated in the desire of the far-seeing business 
men of the county to avail themselves of the benefits of a great tourist trade. 
Some of the leaders of public opinion have read the history of Switzerland, 
where millions of tourists make it possible for hundreds of thousands of Swiss 
people to reap fortunes from hotels and resorts. As Humboldt is a little Switzer- 
land, there are those who believe that its great hunting and fishing opportunities 



122 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

and its wonderful scenery will cause many towns to experience a wonderful 
growth, while others will come into existence. 

The Rev. William Rader, who made the tour overland from San Francisco 
to Eureka, has predicted that we shall have a wonderful tourist trade by reason 
of the fact that the trip in question is the most fascinating one in America. He 
says that the famous Corniche road from Nice to Monte Carlo, which was built 
by one of the Napoleons, lies along the Alpine slopes like a ribbon. He draws a 
picture and exhibits a contrast when he says that the Corniche road is almost 
silken in its surface, with sublime scenery in the background. He adds that if one 
would compare this famous highway with the road from Willits to Eureka he 
would be struck with the great difference between the new and the old world. 
One is a city street, cut over the mountains, while the other is a trail. He wrote 
this before the great state highway survey was made. It should be remembered 
that when the state highway is finished it will be somewhat like a city street cut 
through forests and mountains. The great European road leads through a land 
bereft of all the fascination of the primeval, while the other is Nature's unbroken 
forest and mountain. He remarks that if one of the giant redwoods along the 
Humboldt county road were set in Central Park, New York, or along the Thames 
in London, it would attract more attention than the Metropolitan Museum or the 
Egyptian Obelisk. The people of Humboldt county, believing such statements as 
the foregoing, have long been preparing for the influx of strangers which they 
expect to see when they hear the sounds of whistles and bells where now the only 
noises that break the silence are such as roaring cataracts, lowing herds, and the 
cries of wild beasts. 

In order that the reader may understand something of the beauties that lie 
along this road of wonders the following extracts from Mr. Rader's description 
are submitted : 

"The distance is over one hundred and fifty miles and the trail reaches an 
altitude of over 4,600 feet above sea level. A ride over this road in an auto- 
mobile is a rare and exciting experience, disclosing picture after picture of natural 
magnificence, colored with Nature's own brush, dipped in a magical combination 
of atmospheric effects of light and shade. Variety of landscape, majesty of out- 
line in rock and moimtain and vale, stretches of river and creek, unique geological 
formations, and a variety of wild flower, foliage and tree life greet the eye at 
every turn, while now and then a deer crosses the path with a wondering, 
friendly look, as if it would recognize something akin to itself in the automobile 
without a rifle. 

"The air is like wine, the sky like that which bends over Venice and Florence. 
The people one meets on the way are of a class which stands for the best in the 
Far West. Men of brawn and brain have found their way into these mountain 
fastnesses, the last of the pioneers, for beyond them rolls the Pacific. To the 
far westward lies the old East, and they are made one by virtue of the cable, 
the wireless and steam, and because of the higher affinity of commerce and the 
brotherhood of the nations. The men and women who have had the courage 
to settle in Mendocino and Humboldt counties are worth while. 

"If one would enjoy this journey to the full, perhaps the regular stage is 
best. There are several reasons for this, chief of which is the element of almost 
absolute safety. The driver is probably a stalwart youth who knows every turn 
of the road and is on friendly terms with his big sixty-horse power machine. He 
does not have that inevitable nervousness which an amateur on the road is 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 123 

possessed with, but gives the impression that he is master of the situation. If 
you surrender yourself to his care and the Providence of God, you will reach 
your destination without serious trouble. These young drivers have made them- 
selves famous by caution and skill and no accident thus far mars the record of 
their triumphs. Sometimes the path is wet and the machine threatens to skid 
and land you hundreds of feet below, but it is only a threat and under the skill- 
ful manipulation of the driver, it goes forward humming a hymn of praise. 

"If one would travel by rail and auto one leaves the train at Longvale and 
takes it again at McCann, about fifty miles from Eureka. These metal threads 
will soon be tied together, when the tourist will substitute the train for the 
machine and all may enjoy scenic rides on the railway, of extraordinary interest. 
At present Willits is the end of the first lap from San Francisco. Here is a large 
hotel where the traveler spends the night. The next morning at seven o'clock 
he takes the train again and in a half hour reaches the end of the road at Long- 
vale where, in the depths of the forest, he makes the start in the stage for a ninety- 
mile journey over high precipices and steep grades, around the sharpest turns, 
across sparkling trout streams^, through groves of great trees, descending into the 
deep shades of secluded redwood nooks, where he looks upon trees which prob- 
ably stood before Christ was born. This continues till he reaches the Devil's 
Elbow, six or seven hundred feet above Eel river at McCann, and where he 
descends upon a crooked road with breathless interest, if not a fear, probably 
the most thrilling and crooked road in the world. 

"Not the least among the pleasures of the overland trip is the dinner hour. 
Usually this is spent at Harris, where a sumptuous and old-fashioned dinner 
aft'ords a pleasant and satisfying break in the auto ride. Passengers have a 
sharpened appetite and are in a state of hunger which is the natural result of 
mountain air and thrilling jolts. There isn't much "style," but plenty of fresh 
things from the garden, served in true country fashion. 

"Two roads lead to Eureka from Harris; one by way of Fruitland Ridge to 
McCann's Mill ; the other takes the tourist by Alderpoint, a new village just 
springing into life, and by way of Bridgeville on the Van Duzen. If it has been 
rainy, chains are put on the wheels^ as the roads leading through the forest 
are sometimes dangerously wet and slippery, especially in the summer. On the 
last trip taken by the writer cool, bracing weather was encountered. Great 
clouds of fog drifted in from the sea, followed by bright sun, which fell in show- 
ers of beauty upon the fresh, blue mountains. The air was filled with the pun- 
gent odor of wild flowers and cedar and pine. Here and there we met bands of 
fat steers, driven to Eureka markets by cowboys and well-trained dogs. Occa- 
sional teams were passed, hauling produce or lumber, drawn by four or six 
horses with ringing bells, making the mountains echo with their tinkling melody, 
while the crack of the whip warned us of their approach. 

"The experience of passing these teams is a test of skill and patience, as well 
as courage. Sometimes the stage is compelled to back a long distance to a point 
sufficiently wide to permit the team to pass on a narrow margin where a false 
step would mean disaster. The good humor which generally prevails reveals a 
trait among these mountaineers which might profitably be emulated in other walks 
of life. Men who live in these regions develop a resourcefulness and courage 
altogether admirable, while the horses seem to be at home in dangerous situations, 
behaving like sensible human beings. 



124 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

"Humboldt and Mendocino counties make a natural park of pleasure, where 
the hunter and the fisherman are in a paradise. The climate is perfect, the game 
and fish plentiful. Streams for the most part are stocked with the finest trout, 
while deer and bear are found in abundance. Not only is this territory a 
pleasure ground, but rich in natural resources. Evidences of mineral, oil and 
coal are many. It is estimated that the timber resources will last for a hundred 
years. The enormous amount of lumber which is now sent down the streams to 
the great mills has hardly made a scar upon the old forests, which welcome the 
woodman's axe. It is hoped, however, that it may be long before the noble 
Sequoias yield to the invasion of commerce, and that they may long stand as 
memorials of an ancient past. 

"With the completion of the railroad this vast empire will open her mountain 
gates to the world and yield riches yet undiscovered. What power of water, 
what sites for villages and cities, what immense natural wealth awaits the touch 
of the magic wand of business enterprise ! 

"If San Francisco is the southern terminus of this territory, approached by 
the historic and charming Sonoma valley with Ukiah as the gate of entrance. 
Eureka is the northern terminus. This interesting little city enjoys the distinc- 
tion of having one of the best harbors on the coast. A break-water is nearing 
completion which will insure sufficient depth in the large lagoon for the largest 
vessels and adequate protection against shifting sand bars. The city is flanked 
by noble mountains, and long stretches of cultivated fields. The surrounding 
country, especially the Ferndale region, is rich in dairy products as well as 
inviting to the eye. Twelve thousand contented people live in Eureka, many 
of whom are wealthy and prosperous. The city is the nerve center of Humboldt 
county. A noticeable characteristic of Eureka is its local pride and an optimistic 
hope for its future. Good schools, newspapers, hotels, churches, library build- 
ings, a splendid park, a street railway, a really beautiful Elk hall, good stores and 
public buildings are to be set down among its assets. 

"Already a survey has been made for a railway from Eureka to Red Blufif, 
across mountain ranges which slope gradually down into the great northern end 
of the Sacramento valley. The building of this road will afiford another outlet 
toward the east and south. An automobile trip through this region adds an 
additional chapter of wonder to the volume of California's resources. The 
sparkling Mad river, the miles of well built state roads, the glimpse of Shasta, 
whose silver peak greets the eye on the eastern mountain slopes, make it a 
journey of a thousand wonders. A good place to rest for a day and where one 
may catch as many trout as he would wish is Wildwood, sixty miles from Red 
Blufif. 

"The lumber mills in and around Eureka indicate the scope of the lumber 
trade in Humboldt county. Heavily laden schooners make their way over the 
bar to San Francisco and San Pedro, carrying cargoes of the best material. A 
new enthusiasm is taking hold of the public mind of Eureka. New enterprises 
are starting and a group of energetic men is making plans for larger things 
in the future. Its development is as inevitable as was the growth of San Fran- 
cisco and Portland. Certainly an overland trip by steam and gasoline to this 
beautiful little city of Humboldt is the mo.st fascinating of any of its kind in 
the United States, if not in the world." 

Not only do the leaders of public opinion in the sundry towns of the county 
expect a large tourist trade which will cause a multiplication of hotels and resorts, 




HUMBOLDT COUNTY COURT HOUSE 




U. S. FEDERAL BUILDING AND POST OFFICE, EUREKA 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 125 

but thev believe that many state and national conventions will inevitably be held 
in the towns around Humboldt bay, preferably in Eureka, although Areata is 
showing many signs of stirring activity and is preparing to meet the new con- 
ditions in the spirit of modernity. The fact that the climate around Humboldt 
bay is the coolest summer climate on the American continent is confidently 
regarded as an asset sure to bear its reward. 

The town of Areata, with a population of more than two thousand people, 
made great progress during 1914. Interest in all sorts of public enterprises was 
greatly stimulated by the fact that the town won the State Normal school after a 
hot competition with Eureka. The achievement of this victory stimulated interest 
in public buildings in general and the result has been the building of a modern 
theatre and the projection of plans that will lead to the construction of many other 
modern buildings. One of the ambitions of the town is to capture the railroad 
shops and become a division point of the Northwestern Pacific Railway. 

Areata was fortunate in obtaining from the legislature of 1913 a generous 
grant of five hundred acres of tide lands immediately adjacent to the city and 
so favorably located that a good harbor frontage is likely to be the result. This 
will all be owned by the city and can be leased on favorable terms for terminal 
facilities for railroads, lumber companies, and other great corporations. Arcata's 
very large Chamber of Commerce at once began negotiations with corporations for 
the development of this land. The various committees of the chamber are in 
close touch with concerns that may be looking for a location on Humboldt bay. 

No fact connected with the recent commercial history of Humboldt county is 
more significant than the projection of a plan that looks to the building of a 
thrifty little city at Fort Seward, which is likely to become the metropolis of 
southern Humboldt county. By bringing Judge George W. Rowe and other 
experts to Fort Seward and vicinity, E. B. Bull, manager of the properties of the 
Humboldt Land and Development Company, of which Frank K. Mott is presi- 
dent, attracted the attention of the entire state to the fact that a modern develop- 
ment company could work wonders in the virgin fields of southern Humboldt. 

Plans have been partly perfected for taking care of the influx of settlers 
who may visit southern Humboldt in search of homes. Mr. Bull recognizes 
the fact that one of the important steps in development will be to take care 
of the immigrant during the first few years of his residence at Fort Seward. 
To this end preparations are being made for cold storage plants, canneries, cream- 
eries, and such other modern plants as may be needed in the campaign seeking 
to command the market. In this connection there will be a concerted effort to 
raise apples of high quality on a co-operative plan that shall seek to make the out- 
put large enough to attract attention in such markets as those of London and 
New York City. 

In a similar way the company will try to induce those going into the poultry 
and dairying business to work in such a manner as to make the output regular 
rather than sporadic. By applying modern business efficiency methods to the 
problems before them the Fort Seward people hope to show other communities 
throughout the county that there are many more possibilities in Humboldt county 
than people have heretofore thought. It may be said that the salutary example 
of the Fort Seward plan has already spread to other towns in the county. 

An odd fact in the conditions of town life in Humboldt county is seen in 
the building of houses adequate to the population. In 1913 and 1914 there was 
complaint in Ferndale, Fortuna, Areata, and Eureka that strangers could not 



126 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

find modern apartment houses, bungalows, or cottages. Not a single building 
and loan association exists in the county, and the old settlers seem to take no 
interest in the fact that strangers within the gates of the towns of the county 
are put to all sorts of inconveniences in trying to find shelter and the comforts 
of modern life. With the coming of the railroads, a change in these conditions 
would seem to be inevitable. 

The commercial activities of Eureka, the capital city of the county, were 
stimulated in 1914 by the organization of the Eureka Development Association, 
which sprang into life by reason of the fact that Areata had beaten Eureka out 
of the Normal school, this largely by reason of the fact that the Arcatans were 
well organized while the Eurekans had conducted their fight in a desultory way. 
The Eureka Development Association maintains that the metropolis of the red- 
wood realm is sure to become a city of far greater importance than it has ever 
been. They cite the fact that it has grown rapidly without the advantages of 
railroads connecting it with the outside world. 

During 1913 and 1914 there was an undoubted increase in the population 
of Eureka, as indicated by postoffice reports, school statistics, street car earnings, 
city directory reports, and figures from like sources. The population in 1914 
was probably 15,000. The fact that the Northwestern Pacific announced in June 
that it would run a train into Eureka by October created a great deal of interest in 
the towns in other parts of the state. A marked movement from outside was soon 
in evidence, and many of those who came immediately began to plan as to how 
they could bring industries to the shores of Humboldt bay. The hope of the town 
lies in the prospect of smoke stacks and the hum of industry. 

Secretary Roberts of the Eureka Development Association has well said that 
the streets are wide, clean and well paved. The public and mercantile buildings 
are worthy of the population, although many of the structures are old and might 
be greatly improved. 

There are many comfortable residences, while gas, electricity, good car ser- 
vice, excellent schools, telephones ; water, light and gas systems, and other conve- 
niences make the town a place of comfort. Those who have been studying the 
Panama Canal believe that when the jetties are completed the harbor of Eureka 
will profit greatly by the trade that will come from many other parts of the 
world. 

The harbor of Eureka is unquestionably the most important one between 
San Francisco and the Columbia river. The building of extensive jetties to over- 
come the terrors of a bad bar is sure to make the shipping interests far more 
important than they have ever been. 

It is almost impossible to say just what advantages will come to Eureka and 
other towns when the state highway is finished, along with improved roads, 
lapping the rich Sacramento valley. The road to Redding and Red Bluff has 
already brought Humboldt bay within about sixteen hours of the hot and dusty 
Sacramento valley. The establishing of a summer colony at the mouth of Little 
river by people from Red Bluff is a hopeful indication of the tendencies of the 
times. Norman R. Smith and his associates at Red Bluff have laid out an 
attractive summer resort on the beautiful shores of the Pacific ocean just above 
the mouth of Little river. It would seem that the coming of a large number 
of tourists from the vicinity of Redding and Red Bluff is sure to make some of 
the towns of Humboldt county tourist headquarters during the summer months. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 127 

Business men are already planning to attract such enterprises as flour and 
feed mills, woolen mills, boot and shoe factories, paper and pulp mills, furniture 
factories, canning and preserving plants. There is no doubt that the natural 
resources for these enterprises abound in the vicinity of Eureka. 

Secretary Charles H. Roberts of the Eureka Development Association con- 
tributes the following concerning the capital of Humboldt county: 

"Climatically, the claim is made that Eureka has the shortest thermometer in 
the United States, the annual mean daily range being 10.7 degrees. The maximum 
temperature is 85 degrees and the minimum is 20 degrees. The annual rainfall 
is quite heavy, averaging 45 inches, but being well distributed there is no excessive 
precipitation during the winter months and nothing parched during the summer. 
Frosts are incidents and snow is practically unknown. Ultimately Eureka will 
become a great summer resort where those from the heat-oppressed interior may 
be refreshed. 

"Eureka blocks are laid out two hundred and forty feet square. A majority 
of the streets are sixty feet wide, although a number are seventy-five feet wide. 
There are over fifty miles of graded streets. In the business section are three 
and one-half miles of bitumen paved streets. Crushed rock is used on twenty-five 
miles of streets. There are twenty miles of concrete walks. The city annually 
spends between $30,000 and $35,000 on its streets. 

"There are five banks in Eureka. According to the annual reports for 1913 
the combined deposits amounted to $5,549,778. 

"The public schools of Eureka are comprehensive in their scope and plan, 
consisting of kindergarten, grammar and high school. There are six modern 
school buildings of eight rooms each, all sightly, convenient and commodious, 
with modern heating and ventilating plants. There are two thousand students 
enrolled in the schools, four hundred in the high school and sixteen hundred in 
the grammar grades. 

"A new high school building is now under construction at a cost of $170,000. 
This is being built of reinforced concrete and when completed, January 1, 1915, 
will be one of the most artistic and up-to-date school structures in California. 
The present high school is to become an interrnediate high school. The Eureka 
high school is accredited at Stanford University and at the University of Cali- 
fornia. 

"In the high school special attention is paid to all forms of woodwork, cook- 
ing, sewing and other household arts. Besides literary and debating societies, 
German, French, Spanish and agricultural clubs, the Eureka high school is 
exceedingly fortunate in having a first-class school orchestra and a well-drilled 
glee club. 

"Eureka employs a corps of sixty-six teachers. In the grades special instruc- 
tors are employed in manual training, domestic science, singing and drawing. The 
grammar schools of Eureka are especially proud of the well-developed system of 
home gardening. 

"At a recent election the citizens voted to bond the city for $270,000 to 
purchase the Eureka water works, which are now municipally owned. The water 
for Eureka is taken from Elk river, located five and one-half miles south of the 
city. Water is pumped through sixteen-inch and thirteen-inch transmission mains 
into two large redwood tanks with a combined capacity of over 1,000,000 gallons, 
thence by gravity through forty-five miles of distribution mains and 70,000 feet 
of service pipe to all parts of the city. An 80,000-gallon steel tank has been 



128 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

erected in the higher southern portion of the city at an elevation of sixty-five feet 
higher than the two redwood tanks from which water is re-pumped into the 
steel tank. The system is ninety per cent metered. The water is very soft and 
of good quality and there is a sufificient quantity for a population of from 30,000 
to 40,000. The rates are reasonable ; domestic rates are forty cents per thousand 
gallons for the first 10,000 gallons ; twenty cents per thousand gallons for all 
over 10,000 gallons ; special rates are given factories, mills and other heavy con- 
simiers. 

"Light and gas in Eureka are furnished by the Western States Gas and 
Electric Company, which owns and operates three generating plants, two in this 
city, and one, a hydro-electric plant, containing 1500 kilowatts installed capacity, 
sixty-five miles east of Eureka. The Eureka plants are both steam turbine 
stations with a combined installed capacity of 3000 kilowatts. This concern owns 
one hundred ninety-two miles of pole lines with six hundred eighty-one miles of 
wire in transmission and distributing circuits. The generating station of the 
gas works is equipped for an output of 500,000 cubic feet per day. The company 
reports that within the last ten years the electrical business in this territory has 
grown 400 per cent. Rates are fixed by the California Railroad Commission. 

"An electric trolley system of street cars is operated over twelve and one-half 
miles of track, reaching all parts of the city. The service compares with the 
best on the coast. 

"The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company provides an excellent service 
with 2500 telephones installed. Communication with San Francisco can be 
obtained either by telephone or telegraph, the Western Union having an office 
in this city. 

"Building operations in Eureka during the last few years have been growing, 
the tendency being toward a better class of buildings and permanent construction 
in the use of brick, concrete and steel. Within the last two or three years a 
number of fine public and semi-public structures has been erected, among them 
the Elks hall ; Eagles building ; Federal building in which the postoffice, and the 
offices of the immigration inspector, internal revenue inspector, collector of port, 
United States engineers, weather observer and land office, as well as the United 
States District Court, are located; the county jail, Vance estate building. Gross 
building and new high school. 

"In 1912 the building operations amounted to $154,241, the residence con- 
struction making up one-third. In 1913 the building operations amounted to 
$188,835, with residences making up fifty per cent of the work. For the first 
half of 1914 the building operations already total $197,206, and the residences 
are still fifty per cent of the total construction. Many artistic bungalows and 
pleasing mansions are found throughout the residence district. 

"Morning and evening newspapers and two weekly publications cover the 
newspaper field in Eureka, the dailies receiving daily telegraphic service from the 
Associated Press and the International News Service. The Eureka papers are 
noted among the most progressive in the state. 

"A mayor and five councilmen form the governing body of Eureka, known 
as the City Council. The police force is composed of a chief, captain and six 
patrolmen. An excellent volunteer fire department possesses two hundred 
seventy-five members in eight different companies, three modern fire engines, an 
automobile chemical engine, two trucks, ample hose carts and a Gamewell fire 
alarm system. The City Hall, erected less than ten years ago, cost $125,000. The 




< 

w 

^'■ 
a; 
< 

< 

O 

o 

w 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 129 

Carnegie Free Library of Eureka is one of the show places, having a particularly 
large stock of books, and one of the finest collections of birds and animals, the 
result of taxidermist's art, to be found in California. There are more than fifteen 
churches and thirty-seven fraternal societies. The Humboldt Chautauqua, now 
two years old, meets in Eureka annually. 

"Within the city limits is Sequoia Park, the city's pleasure ground, com- 
prising thirty-five acres of virgin redwood forest and five acres of playgrounds. 
Within the confines of the park is a beautiful lake. 

"Eureka being the county seat of Humboldt county, a fine court house 
occupies a block close to the business section. 

'Tt is estimated that the present stand of redwood in Humboldt county 
occupies about 450,000 acres, producing from 100,000 to 200,000 feet of lumber 
per acre, and valued at from $200 to $600 per acre. Lumbering at the present 
time is the major industry of the county. Eleven large sawmills in Humboldt 
send out annually about 200,000,000 feet of redwood lumber through the port 
of Eureka. 

"Dairying is the second important industry of Humboldt. The annual output 
of dairy products totals about 10,000,000 pounds with a valuation of $2,000,000. 
LIumboldt was the first California county to engage a scientific farm adviser. In 
the hills stockraising is followed, fruit culture is given attention on the bench 
and bottom lands, commercial and sport fishing bring financial and pleasurable 
returns on all the larger streams, and the wilds abound in game. Good roads 
generally give opportunity to get to the edge of the wilds without trouble or loss 
of time. 

"Passenger steamers are operated regularly between Eureka and Portland, 
and between Eureka and San Francisco. More than twenty steam schooners in 
the lumber and freight trade call at Eureka from all ports of the Pacific coast. 
Large freighters carry off shore cargoes of redwood lumber to South America, 
Australia. China and Great Britain. About 1000 vessels come and go at Hum- 
boldt bay during a year, and in that time the port trade averages about $20,000,000. 

"Eureka is but yet in the embryo state. Unhampered by former difficulties of 
transportation, despite which the city has forged ahead in the past, the Eureka 
of the next few years will advance with amazing rapidity to its destined place 
among the leading centers of the Pacific coast." 

In the olden days Eureka was famous for a large number of excellent singers. 
Men and women now prominent in business and social life belonged to choral 
societies of the long ago, and these societies frequently carried away honors in 
contests with musical clubs from other parts of the State. Some of the men 
who were judges of the Superior Court thirty years ago shone as singers when 
away from home. At their home and w^henever any public musical events were 
on they were popular because of their splendid voices and training. 

For a number of years there was a lapse of interest in affairs of this character, 
but about 1911 the Sequoia club of music was started by a number of the musically 
inclined ladies of the town. Though Eurekans have not shown so much interest 
in musical events as in the past there is no doubt that this splendid organization 
has stimulated local interest and brought a number of distinguished musicians to 
Eureka on the occasion of special musical entertainment. 

In 1913 Judge Clifton H. Connick established a choral society which is 
known by the simple name of the Choral Society. He gathered around him 
twenty or thirty of the best singers in the town and at once began training them 
8 



130 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

in grand opera and other high-class music. At the Elks' Memorial exercises in 
1913 this splendid organization gave a musical program that surprised the peo- 
ple of the town and attracted wide attention throughout the State when it was 
heard of through the reports of strangers who chanced to be present during the 
memorial exercises. It is the ambition of those who constitute this superb organ- 
ization to make it so efficient that it will be able to furnish great choral music 
on public occasions such as conventions and social entertainments. 

The social life of most of the towns of the county is such as to break the 
monotony of everyday life and prevent the people from falling into a hum-drum 
existence. In almost every town there are several clubs devoted to musical, 
literary, civic and social affairs. In most instances it is the women who have for- 
warded club life and taken an active interest in starting uplifting organizations. 

It is to be regretted that an automobile club and a home products association 
were allowed to fall by the wayside. The automobile activities have been merged 
to a great extent in those of the state organization. It is the purpose of the 
Humboldt Promotion Committee to do everything within its power to co-operate 
with the State Home Industry movement, which has headquarters in San Fran- 
cisco. Roy Fellom, editor and owner of the Home Industries Magazine, has a 
plan which seeks to bring every county of the State in line with the general move- 
ment. It is believed that the completion of the railroad will bring Humboldt 
county in closer touch with this great movement. The parent commercial organ- 
ization of Humboldt county is the Chamber of Commerce, a county-wide 
organization which, though run conservatively, without pretense, noise, or flurry, 
has accomplished wonderful results in many lines of industry. 

The fundamental purpose of the Humboldt Chamber has always been the 
furnishing of a dignified channel through which public opinion might express itself 
authoritatively upon matters of importance to the community, thus giving force 
and effect to its demand for such public improvements as the needs of the par- 
ticular section might require. The following account of the early work of the 
Chamber is from the pen of George A. Kellogg, who has been secretary of the 
organization, and has ably managed its affairs ever since January, 1892: 

"Incorporated March 13, 1891, as the result of a feeling on the part of the 
citizens of Humboldt that the Government improvement work on Humboldt Bar 
needed the support and assistance of the more prominent of Humboldt's citizens, 
the Chamber has ever since addressed itself largely to the looking out for the 
larger matters of public improvement, while not neglecting the important work 
of advertising the resources of the county, nor failing to perform those social 
duties essential to the proper entertainment of distinguished visitors from abroad. 

"Beginning with a membership of about ninety, the number was rapidly in- 
creased to one hundred and twenty ; and it has ever since alternated between 
seventy and one hundred and thirty-five, the variation being in accordance with 
the activity of its officers and the importance of the public matters receiving its 
attention. At present the membership is one hundred and twenty-five, nearly half 
of whom have been members since the beginning of the Chamber. 

"Almost the first work taken up by the Chamber was the endeavor to secure 
a sufficient appropriation to insure the carrying on to completion of the work of 
building the jetties at Humboldt entrance. A very forceful memorial to Congress 
was adopted and forwarded, and by prompt and wise action on the part of Con- 
gressman T. J. Geary, assisted by Senator C. N. Felton, this work was placed on 
the continuing contract list^ thus insuring its being carried to completion. News 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 131 

of this event reached the Chamber on the evening of April 8, 1892; and such was 
deemed the importance of this matter that a general celebration, participated in 
by citizens from all over the county, was shortly afterwards held. The com- 
mittee appointed to secure funds for this monster celebration raised nearly $3500 
in about three-quarters of a day; and the parade on the night of the rejoicing 
was almost a mile in length. 

"The Chamber has also secured three appropriations for dredging the chan- 
nels of the bay; one of $80,000 and one of $50,000, having been expended some 
years ago ; while the third, amounting to $83,000, will be expended this year. 

"One of the first matters to receive the attention of the Chamber was the 
securing of a Federal Public Building here. And by dint of continued efforts 
on the part of the Chamber and our representatives in Congress, an appropriation 
of $130,000 was last year made for this purpose. A site has been selected, and 
when the defects in the title are corrected by the friendly suit now about to come 
up before Federal Judge De Haven^ the work of the Chamber in this connection 
will be ended successfully. It is now nearly fifteen years since the first efiforts 
were made in this matter; and it is with a feeling of deep relief and satisfaction 
that those who have been charged with the burden of this work can now foresee 
the successful end of their labors. 

"Many matters of importance to this city and county have been promoted 
wholly or in part by the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce. Among them may 
be mentioned the securing of terminal rates to the Eastern markets for the lumber 
products of this county, which was solely the work of the Chamber. The re- 
organization of the city under a special charter; the building of the woolen mills 
here ; the free delivery of mail in the city ; the building of the Harris road, and 
the road to the Klamath river ; the erection of the Carnegie Free Library ; various 
improvements in the mail service, and the connection of the Government light 
houses and life saving stations by telegraph or telephone ; the establishment of a 
light vessel at Blount's Reef ; and a variety of minor matters too numerous to 
mention. 

"In the line of advertising the resources of this prolific section, the Chamber 
has kept fairly well up to the demands and needs of the people. It has made 
full or partial exhibits at State Fairs, at the Midwinter Fair, at the New Orleans 
Exposition, at the Chicago World's Fair, and at the Lewis and Clark Exposition. 
In 1891 it issued a small pamphlet on this county's products, which was mainly 
statistical. In 1893 it brought out Tn the Redwood's Realm,' the prince of all 
county advertising books. In 1900 was produced its small pamphlet, 'Humboldt 
County,' and in 1904 a re-issue of the same was made. In all, more than 50,000 
copies of these various books and pamphlets have been distributed. Along with 
this distribution, the Chamber is continually answering by letter the numerous 
requests for information about Humboldt which it receives. 

"The Chamber now has under consideration the matter of issuing a new 
pamphlet, or rather a series of separate pamphlets, upon its various industries, 
which may all be finally combined to make up one large pamphlet on Humboldt 
county. But the actual work along this line has not yet been begun, although it 
soon must be. 

"In the way of entertaining distinguished visitors from abroad, the Chamber 
has always filled an important place and need. Space cannot be spared to 
enumerate them all, but, leaving out ancient history, mention may be made of 
the visits here of the principal officers of the Santa Fe Railway Company in 1905, 



132 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

and of the Promotion Committee later in the same year. And Government officials 
visiting here in the performance of their duties have always been well looked after 
by committees from the Chamber. 

"Statistics of the exports from the county have always been kept up by the 
Chamber, and its records along this line go back to 1889. Ever since improve- 
ment work began on the bar, an annual synopsis of our trade has been furnished 
to the United States engineers in charge of this district, and has become a part 
of the engineers' reports, and of the archives of the Government. 

"During the twenty-five years of its existence,the Humboldt Chamber of 
Commerce has had its periods of depression and inactivity, its times of strenu- 
ous action and accomplishment. It has been criticized by members and non- 
members because it has failed to do this, and because it has done that. But the 
majority of its critics, both w^ithout and within its ranks, fail to realize that 
such a public organization is at its best, a compromise ; that it is composed of a 
small percentage of the general community, and that its membership is seldom 
united in opinion upon any one particular matter of method of action. 

"That in the main it has fairly represented the sentiment of the people of 
Humboldt upon such matters as have come before it, cannot be denied ; and that 
its work has in general been vastly beneficial to this community, is equally 
impossible of denial. It has room in its ranks for many more members ; it is 
entitled to all the support that can be accorded it; and the greater its support, 
the more it can accomplish for the newer Humboldt." 

It is with much satisfaction that this history can record the fact that the 
Humboldt Chamber of Commerce has always had a reputation for accuracy. Mr. 
Kellogg is a man of sterling character and he would rather understate than ex- 
aggerate regarding the resources of Humboldt county. He and the secretary 
of the promotion committee, which is a branch of the Chamber of Commerce, 
agree that the county does not need empty-handed men and women, and that 
nobody should visit any part of the State until he has made a thorough investiga- 
tion of its resources and opportunities. It is contrary to the principles of the 
Chamber and of the promotion committee to induce anybody to leap in the dark. 

The following will give an idea of some of the work done by the Chamber 
of Commerce in whole or in part, in behalf of the entire county, since its organiza- 
tion in 1891 : 

"Had the first jetty construction project placed on the continuing contract 
list, insuring appropriations aggregating $1,500,000. 

"Secured the appropriations for the second jetty project, and its being placed 
under continuous contract, the full appropriation to be $1,037,400. 

"Secured dredging appropriations as follows: First appropriation, $80,000; 
second appropriation, $50,000; third appropriation, $83,000; fourth appropriation, 
$15,000. Total, $228,000. 

"Secured an appropriation for the construction of a coal shed at the light 
house reservation, which has not yet been constructed, $5,000. 

"Secured the establishment of the light vessel at Blount's Reef. 

"Secured the establishment of the Government wireless station at Table Blufif. 

"Secured the establishment of the light house at Point Gorda. at a cost of 
$80,000. 

"Secured the establishment of range lights on the bay channels and on the 
south jetty. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 133 

"Secured the connection by telephone of the life saving station on the north 
spit with Eureka. 

"Secured the connection by telegraph of the Wireless Station at Table Bluff 
with Eureka. 

"Secured the construction of the Carnegie Library, and raised all the funds 
for that purpose, amounting to: For site, $5,700.00; for building, $26,100.88. 
Total. $31,800.88. 

"Secured the construction of the Federal Building, at a cost of: For site, 
$17,434.37; for cornerstone laying, $82.00; for building, $130,000.00. Total, 
$147,516.37. 

"Aided in directing the sentiment that caused the building of the City Hall. 

"Was instrumental in securing the building of the woolen mill plant. 

"Was instrumental in securing the building of the Harris road. 

"Was instrumental in securing the building of the Klamath road. 

"Was instrumental in securing the free delivery of mail by carrier. 

"Was instrumental in securing various improvements in the mail service at 
various places throughout the county. 

"Cared for the sufferers by the wreck of the 'Walla Walla.' 

"Cared for the sufferers by the wreck of the 'Columbia.' 

"Took charge of the Relief Fund for the sufferers by the San Francisco 
earthquake and fire. 

"Entertained visiting Senators, Congressmen, Governors, San Francisco 
Promotion Committee, and various other distinguished persons and bodies. 

"Made a County Exhibit at "the Sacramento State Fair. 

"Made a County Exhibit at the Midwinter Fair at San Francisco. 

"Made a County Exhibit at the Epworth League National meeting at San 
Francisco. 

"Made a partial exhibit at the Lewis and Clark Fair at Portland. 

"Maintained an incomplete exhibit at the rooms of the State Board of Trade 
for the last ten or twelve years. 

"Issued and distributed 16,000 copies of 'Tn the Redwood's Realm." 

"Issued and distributed 77,000 copies of "Humboldt County Pamphlet." 

"Issued and distributed 23,000 copies of "Eureka Census Folders." 

"Issued and distributed 20,000 copies of "Climate Folders." 



136,000 

"Distributed over 35,000 copies of Souvenirs, Sunset Pamphlets, Promotion 
Folders, Special Editions of Newspapers and miscellaneous advertising matter. 

"Secured terminal rates for Humboldt lumber and shingles shipped to the 
East by rail. 

"Was instrumental in securing the re-organization of the city of Eureka 
under a special charter. 

"Aided in directing the sentiment that compelled the building of the bridge 
over Eel river at* Weott." 

During the year 1914, in spite of general dullness, Humboldt county has had 
its share of prosperity. It is well known that the banks of the county have 
always contained a large amount of money deposited by the people, but there 
has never been anything like a boom or false growth in the county. 

A careful examination of general business conditions of the year 1914 con- 
firms the opinion that prosperity has been general. An increased volume of trade 



134 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

has been reported by merchants throughout the county. One exception might 
be made to the statement of gen'eral prosperity. Secretary Kellogg wisely said : 
"I cannot close my eyes to the fact that the leading business industry of Hum- 
boldt, lumbering, has not shared in the advance that has appeared general in 
other lines. For in this industry not only have the demand and production both 
fallen off, but prices have not been satisfactory; and it is certain that when 
the figures for the year have been made up, the totals of shipments and of valua- 
tion will both show a considerable decrease from the record figures of 1912. So 
far as I am able to judge, the principal reasons for these untoward conditions 
in this trade are the unfavorable weather experienced last winter and spring in 
southern and central California, with the consequent light crops tending to dis- 
courage country building; and the increasing competition from the more cheaply 
produced fir and pine lumber of the Northwest. The first of these reasons — that 
of reduced crop production in the market land to the south of us — is transitory. 
For already has the present winter season progressed far enough to justify the 
prediction of full crops in the central and southern portions of the State, with a 
consequent increased demand for the lumber of Humboldt. As to the second 
reason — the increasing competition of cheaper lumber than is redwood — that will 
be always with us, or at least until the full commercial opening of the Panama 
Canal makes possible the increasing markets that are hoped for, and thus removes 
the sting from the competition of cheaper woods. I am firm in the opinion that 
when the country is made available to our lumber manufacturers through the 
opening of the 'big ditch' of Panama, ample and sufficient markets will be opened 
to redwood lumber to insure profitable returns therefrom. For redwood is a 
timber like unto itself only; its qualities give it a desirability for many purposes 
that cannot be fulfilled by any other wood ; and the passing years cannot fail 
to see the demand for its increase, especially as additional markets are opened 
to it through improved transportation." 

It should be said that the foreign trade has always been the great feature of 
the lumber business. The number of clearances of vessels averages about forty 
each year, and the average cargo carried by each vessel approximates a million 
and a half feet, the average value of the cargo being something more than $32,000. 

August 16, 1913, stands out in the history of lumber shipments as the red- 
letter day. At that time the steamer Algoa, 4,897 net tons, cleared from the port 
with the largest cargo ever loaded in Humboldt bay. She carried 2,748,275 feet 
of lumber, valued at $83,670. The fact of this great load and the ease with 
which it was carried from Eureka led to much favorable comment in the news- 
papers of San Francisco and Oakland. The British steamer Iran, which took a 
great load from the port of Eureka in 1911, was almost as large as the Algoa-. 

During the last few years a steady improvement has gone on in the condition 
under which dairying products are produced. About 1912 the advantages of 
cleanliness and sanitary precautions became pretty well understood, and a move- 
ment to obtain the advantages of scientific management was fostered by the 
dairy association, the Farm Bureau, the newspapers, and the creameries of the 
county. Humboldt dairymen were also urged to greater precaution by the dairy 
inspector engaged with the State Dairying Bureau. 

Humboldt county long occupied the place of first in dairy productions, but 
Stanislaus several years ago took the palm from her. 

In noting the progress of material enterprises in Humboldt county during 
the last few years the historian cannot omit to mention the importance of the 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 135 

construction work on the south jetty of the bar. By January, 1913, ahtiost 3,000 
feet of rock work had been completed on the seaside of the spit, leaving about 2,400 
feet to be completed. During the year 1913 almost 1,000 feet were finished, which 
left about 700 feet to be built. As the work progresses toward the sea the amount 
of rock required to bring the jetty up to its level increases, for which reason the 
work progresses more slowly. It requires about two hundred fifty tons of 
rock to carry the work one foot toward the sea. 

One of the problems now bothering the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce 
and the public at large concerns appropriations for the completion of the south 
jetty and for carrying on the work to the north. It is regrettable that a number 
of members of Congress are stubbornly opposing the appropriation of any further 
money for the improvement of Humboldt bar. The Chamber of Commerce is 
doing a heroic work to see that this attitude does not become the prevailing opinion 
in Congress. 

One of the crying needs of the times is a dredger to clear out the channel of 
the bay and render eft'ective aid during the storms of winter in the vicinity of the 
bar itself. Colonel Rees has been and is strongly of the opinion that the harbor 
should be deepened until it will take ships which draw almost thirty feet of 
water. By deepening and widening the present channel in accordance with move- 
ments now under way the shipping industry will be greatly increased. 

There are a number of thriving towns in the county, each being supported 
by some industry peculiar to the immediate surroundings. No history of the 
county would be complete without some mention of these towns and their activity. 

Next to Eureka, Areata is undoubtedly the most important town in the 
county. As heretofore said, the establishing of a State normal school there in 
1914 gave the town a wonderful impetus. It already had seven churches, three 
grammar schools, a union high school, a public library well stocked with books, a 
city hall, a Spanish plaza, a delightful park, and many lodges of all the leading 
orders — all these are features of the social, intellectual and municipal life of 
the place. 

The city is exceptionally well lighted by electricity, its streets are macadamized 
and cleanly kept, the water system is good, the sewage and drainage scientific, the 
only municipal debt, now much reduced, being one incurred to perfect this system. 
Areata is served with three lines of railroad. One of these, the Northwestern 
Pacific Railroad, is destined to give direct communication to San Francisco and 
the West. With its early completion z\rcata's Chamber of Commerce expects to 
see a phenomenal development in many lines. 

At present the city has a large tannery, a large cooperage manufactory and 
a shingle mill as its main local industries — not to mention the numerous creameries 
nearby, all doing a profitable and ever-increasing business — but by the time the 
railroad is completed the city looks forward to the establishment of many new 
industries. 

Ferndale is the third city in size in the county, having a population of more 
than 1,000. Outside of the incorporated limits are many additional residents, the 
merchants supplying between 1,500 and 2,000 people. It is twenty miles south 
of Eureka, within three miles of the ocean and the same distance south of Eel 
river. It is three miles from the railway, auto stages connecting with all trains. 

Dairying and allied interests support the town. Hundreds of level and 
fertile acres surround it on three sides. Eight thousand dairy cattle browse on this 
land, turning the abundant feed into butter fat which has given Humboldt the 



136 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

name of the premier butter county in the State. In North Ferndale is located a 
dry milk plant, one of three in the United States. In connection is a large 
creamery, and other creameries are located adjacent to the town. The pay roll 
for these creameries for the year is $800,000. 

There are many other enterprises, such as moulding mills and iron works. 
There are two good hotels, a weekly newspaper, two banks, several large general 
merchandise stores, druggists, men's furnishings, shoe stores, millinery, confec- 
tioneries, livery stable, garages, a motion picture theater and other forms of 
amusement. 

The town is governed by a mayor and council. Saloons are licensed, but 
run under strict regulation. Modern comforts, such as electric lights, telephones, 
water and sewer systems, are provided. There is an efficient fire department. 
Grammar and high schools contain all grades, and the latter an agricultural course. 
A Carnegie library is maintained. 

There are seven churches maintained in Ferndale : Methodist, Congrega- 
tional, Catholic. Danish Lutheran, German Lutheran, Episcopal and Adventist. 
The predominating class of residents are Danish, Swedish and Italian-Swiss. 
There are thirty secret societies in Ferndale, all of the usual fraternities being 
represented. 

Adjacent to the town is Salt river, emptying into Eel river near the latter's 
mouth. In season salmon, steelhead and salmon trout abound in those streams, 
providing employment for commercial fishermen and sport for rod and reel fisher- 
men. A short distance from town is located a salmon cannery. 

Back of the town is a rich, gradually developing country whose trade goes 
to Ferndale. On the coast oil indications are being prospected. The productivity 
of the soil is due largely to continuous high fogs which provide needed moisture 
the year 'round. Land sells on an average of $400 per acre, though exceptionally 
well located tracts sell at $500 and even $600 per acre. 

Fortuna is located twenty miles south of Eureka on the Northwestern Pacific 
Railroad, Eel river, the main county road and the projected state highway. 
It is the fourth largest town in the county. The last census enumerates 883 
within the incorporated limits. Outside are 300 to 500 other residents served by the 
merchants. 

Immediately surrounding the town are fertile bottom lands with low lying, 
heavily timbered hills forming a background. The lowlands are used for grain- 
raising, dairying, truck gardening, and other raising of cereals and small fruits. 
Redwood growing on the hills will supply timber for several decades for the two 
mills which help to support the town, one within the city limits, the other at 
Newburg at the outskirts of the town. 

During certain seasons of the year Eel river abounds with king salmon, 
steelheads, and salmon trout, also eels. Commercial fishermen annually take 
out thousands of dollars" worth of the first two named and the steelhead and 
' salmon trout afford the finest sport known for rod fishermen. 

Fortuna maintains grammar and high schools, containing all grades, a free 
library, and Christian, Methodist. Catholic and Christian Science churches. Prac- 
tically all of the fraternal orders are represented with lodges. There are several 
active social clubs and the usual church societies. There is a Men's club and a 
boat club. 

The town is governed by a city council of five. There is an efficient fire 
department with modern equipment. A public water system and several private 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 137 

companies furnish spring water, providing an abundance of pure water and ample 
fire protection. The Fortuna Board of Trade is an active organization and a 
member of the Federated Commercial bodies. 

Fortuna has a good hotel, a bakery, a restaurant, four general merchandise 
stores, two jewelry stores, drug, hardware, furniture, confectionery, men's fur- 
nishings, ladies' furnishings, harness and vehicle stores, millinery, butcher, barber 
and blacksmith shops, stables and garages, two weekly newspapers, a bank, 
laundry, real estate offices and an undertaking establishment. There is a public 
hall and a motion picture theater. The Humboldt Beacon and the Fortuna Ad- 
vance are the papers. 

The town owns a fine five-acre park. In 1912 the residents by a large ma- 
jority voted "dry." Both before and since the election the town has grown 
steadily, many residences and business houses being erected. The people are law- 
abiding, optimistic, healthy, sociable, and welcome newcomers. 

Fields Landing or South Bay is but six miles south of Eureka. Its location 
on the bay shore and the Northwestern Pacific Railway makes it a great vantage 
point. It is next to Eureka so far as shipping is concerned. The Pacific 
Lumber Company and the Eel River Valley Lumber Company have extensive 
wharves there, and millions of feet of redwood are shipped annually, much of 
it to Australia. The railway maintains its shops at South Bay and many men are 
employed there. The lumber and shipping industries also employ many men. 
There is a good hotel, several stores and a good school. 

Loleta is thirteen miles south of Eureka on the Northwestern Pacific Rail- 
way and has a population of about 500. It is surrounded by rich dairying land 
which supports many hundreds of head of cattle, this industry being the main 
support of the town. Libby, McNeill & Libby have a large milk condensing 
plant there and are building a dry milk plant in connection. There is one other 
creamery and a number of skimming stations are maintained. During the fall 
months the large fish buyers from San Francisco congregate in Loleta and 
annually the sum of $50,000 is paid out for the salmon catch from Eel river, 
near by. The town has good schools, water supply, and a sewer system. There 
is a hotel, a bank, some general merchandise stores and the usual amount of 
small business enterprises, churches and fraternal societies. Loleta is in no- 
license territory. Its citizens are prosperous and law abiding. 

Rohnerville is twenty miles south of Eureka and two miles from Fortuna. 
It is the oldest town in the southern part of the county. In early days it was 
the end of the road and settlers outfitted there to pack into the hills of Humboldt 
and Trinity. Its two general merchandise stores still furnish supplies to many 
ranchers there. The town is surrounded with rich prairie land which is very 
productive and valued highly by its owners. Hay is a big crop and garden truck, 
berries and orchard fruits help to support the town. Rohnerville has good schools, 
a teachers' preparatory school, churches, secret societies, numerous small busi- 
ness enterprises, and electric light and telephone service. It has a good water 
supply and a population of about 500. 

Trinidad, the oldest town in California but one. is a picturesque village of 
250 population. It is twenty-eight miles from Eureka, to the north, being a 
spot of rugged sea-clift's and magnificent marine view. It was at one time the post 
where Captain Grant, afterwards the famous general and president, was sta- 
tioned. In addition to these facts, Bret Harte wrote his first newspaper story 
there — a description of an Indian war that took place where the town now stands. 



138 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

It has two general stores, two hotels, a good school, a beautiful city park, and 
other interesting features of community life. A new school building, to cost 
$8,000, is now among the certainties of the near future. There are two trains 
daily to and from Eureka, while an auto stage connects the town with Crescent 
City. 

Hydesville is an inland town twenty-five miles southeast of Eureka. Located 
on a high plateau, it is in the midst of the finest berry land in the county and 
thousands of boxes of strawberries are harvested annually. Dairying is conducted 
on a small scale and the town supports a cheese factory. General ranching is 
also followed to some extent. There are schools, churches and secret societies. 
The population numbers several hundreds. 

Alton is located twenty-one miles south of Eureka at the junction of the 
Northwestern Pacific Railway with the branch line running to Carlotta. It has 
a population of about 500, which is supported by the rich ranch lands surround- 
ing the town. The town has a fine water supply, schools and a number of secret 
societies. There is a good hotel, a large general merchandise store and a number 
of small enterprises. A number of fine orchards lie adjacent to the town. Gen- 
eral ranching, fruit raising and dairying are the principal industries. 

Metropolitan is a lumber town twenty-three miles south of Eureka, on the 
Northern Pacific Railway. The Metropolitan Lumber Company operates a mill 
there and this supports the town. Adjacent logged-off and open lands are used 
for ranching. School facilities are provided and there are several small stores. 
The population is nominal. 

Rio Dell is twenty-five miles south of Eureka on the opposite side of the 
river from the railroad. It has a small population. The town is surrounded by 
rich land producing grain crops, orchard fruits, and garden truck. It is on the 
main road passing through the county. There are a hotel and a number of 
stores, also a public hall. Good schools are provided. 

Scotia is twenty-eight miles south of Eureka on the Northwestern Pacific 
Railway and has a resident population of several hundred and a very large 
transient population, owing to its principal industry, lumbering. The mills of the 
Pacific Lumber Company are located at Scotia and this company owns the entire 
town and conducts all of the business enterprises. There are two big mills and 
the annual lumber cut is enormous. Many hundreds of men are employed in the 
woods, camps and mills of the company. The company maintains cottages for 
its employes, a school and a large general hospital. A church is supported, there 
are a number of fraternal societies, and a men's club having a large membership 
is encouraged by the company. Surrounding lands that have been logged off are 
being sold and cleared and are very productive. 

Shively is located thirty-eight miles south of Eureka on the Northwestern 
Pacific Railway, and has a population of about 300. Logged-off lands surround 
the town and these are being cleared and planted to orchards and garden truck. 
There are a number of small Italian hotels and two others. There are a general 
merchandise store and several smaller stores. 

Pepperwood is a small settlement about thirty-five miles south of Eureka 
and on the opposite side of the river from Shively. Surrounding it is extremely 
rich bottom land and here are raised great crops of garden truck, particularly 
tomatoes. There is a number of stores and school facilities are provided. 
Near the town is located the Laurel mill, which is employed in converting a large 
grove of that timber into commercial lumber. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 139 

Dyerville is an old town located at the forks of Eel river, forty-six miles 
south of Eureka. Near this town the railway crosses the river and on the opposite 
bank the new town to be called South Fork is being established. Back of these 
towns is a rich country. Most of the lands are covered with a thick growth of 
redwood as yet hardly touched for milling purposes. The open lands grow fine 
orchard crops. Out of the redwood belt hundreds of hogs are raised on the 
acorns and other natural foods. A contemplated road leads to the Mattole coun- 
try, where are valuable fruit lands. This road will bring the Mattole trade 
to South Fork. Another road already taps the Bull creek section, located on the 
South Fork of Eel river. Stock raising, fruit culture, hunting and fishing are the 
niam industries. Schools are provided. There is a good hotel at Dyerville, and 
a general store. 

Blocksburg and Bridgeville are two of the oldest towns in the southern part 
of the county. Both are located on the overland road. Bridgeville is forty-eight 
miles south of Eureka and on the Van Duzen river. Blocksburg is seventy 
miles from Eureka. Both have hotel accommodations, schools and stores. The 
population is nominal. Stock-raising is a principal industry. Hundreds of turkeys 
are also annually raised in that section and driven to market at holiday time. 
This is tne heart of a splendid apple country. 

Alderpoint is one of the newest towns in the county, located on the over- 
land road and the Northwestern Pacific Railway, now building. It is in the 
extreme southern part of the county, eighty-one miles from Eureka. It has a 
natural location for a trade center. In the summer its climate is ideal. In the 
past surrounding lands have been used for grazing cattle and sheep. Many 
orchards are now being planted. There are school and hotel facilities and a 
number of small stores. There is only a small population. 

Situated two miles north of Blue Lake, twenty-two miles distant from 
Eureka, located on and the present terminus of the Areata & Mad River Railroad, 
is the town of Korbel, containing a population of some 300. Korbel is a mill 
town, the Northern Redwood Company owning the land and practically all of the 
industries. A large mill is operated there, and employs many men. Surround- 
ing level land is used for the growing of small fruits, poultry raising, etc. Aside 
from the lumber industry, the chief asset of Korbel is its scenic beauty. There is 
a large tourist hotel, perhaps the finest in the county, and hundreds of outsiders 
visit the resort each summer. There are excellent fishing and hunting. Nowhere 
in the county is the scenery of Korbel excelled. There are schools and the usual 
number of business establishments. 

Blue Lake is an incorporated city situated twenty miles north of Eureka. 
It is on the Areata & Mad River Railroad, which connects at Areata with the 
Northwestern Pacific Railway. Within the school district there is a population 
of 1000. Surrounded by heavily timbered hills, and above the fog belt. Blue Lake 
has an almost perfect climate, unexcelled by any place on the coast. The fertile 
acres surrounding the town are used for dairying, general ranching, and the 
raising of berries and small fruits. These, with the lumbering industry, are the 
chief support of the town. The town is the principal distributing point for all of 
northern Humboldt. Mines on the Klamath and Trinity are supplied with the 
necessities through this gateway. The mining industry is largely undeveloped, 
and has an immense future before it. 

Blue Lake has a grammar school, high school privileges, Catholic, Presby- 
terian and Methodist churches, and the usual number of fraternal societies. 



140 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

social clubs, etc. There is a development board, newly organized. It has an 
excellent water system, an efficient fire department, electric lights, telephones and 
all modern conveniences. In addition to the daily train service, passenger auto 
trucks place the town in quick communication with the county seat. Trades in 
all lines are represented, the business district being such as is usually found in 
towns of this size. There is a weekly newspaper, the Blue Lake Advocate. 
Lands may be purchased at reasonable figures and newcomers are welcomed 
to the community. 

Samoa is located on the peninsula across the bay from Eureka. The Ham- 
mond Lumber Company owns the town and operates immense saw mills, mould- 
ing mills, etc., employing some 500 men. The company has built a number 
of substantial houses for the workmen, and the population numbers about 250. 
Other workmen reside in Eureka. There is an hourly ferry service between the 
peninsula and the mainland. The peninsula is narrow and the Pacific ocean lies 
adjacent to the town, a favorite spot during the spring and summer. The dis- 
tance from Eureka to the wharf line at Samoa is approximately a mile and a half. 

Carlotta is a summer resort located twenty-eight miles south of Eureka. 
It is on the Northwestern Pacific Railway, being the terminal of the branch 
line which connects at Alton, six miles distant. It is in the heart of the redwoods. 
Logged-ofif or open lands grow unexcelled berries and small fruits. Stages from 
Carlotta conjiect with the inland towns of southern Humboldt. Ranchers in 
that section outfit at Carlotta, thus making it an important shipping point. There 
is an excellent hotel there and the fishing and hunting are superb. The population 
's nominal. Opportunities are numerous for the prospective settler. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Promotive Activities. 

One of the most striking features of the development of Humboldt 
county during the last few years is the organization of a number of societies 
whose aim is the material advancement of the afifairs of the county. As in 
many other instances of community development throughout the United 
States, the most important factor in this work is the education of public 
sentiment to a realization of the importance of maintaining a live organiza- 
tion in the field, ever ready to take advantage of each opportunity which 
makes for the betterment of physical and social conditions. 

A few years before 1912, there had been several noticeable failures 
among business men to get together for the purpose of promoting the gen- 
eral welfare. At Eureka a real estate exchange was organized, but it was 
difficult to raise much money, so that after a few years the subscriptions 
lapsed and the organization went to pieces. Similar experiences had been 
met with in other communities, and the outlook was discouraging. 

The Sunset Magazine, of San Francisco, and some other publications 
had done sporadic work in the line of advocating a get-together movement 
in the county and Jack London had come to Humboldt county to interest 
the people in a book, w'hich he wrote for the purpose of bringing tourists 
into this section. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 141 

Early in 1912 — about June 16 — Leigh H. Irvine, then managing editor 
of the Humboldt Times of Eureka, called a meeting of business men for the 
purpose of discussing the advisability of starting a promotion and develop- 
ment organization. They met at the office of A. J. Johnsen, a real estate 
agent, but the principal speakers said it would be impossible to raise any 
money. W. S. Clark, afterwards elected mayor, said $2000 could not be 
raised in two years. 

Mr. Irvine called another meeting, however, and began a vigorous 
campaign in behalf of community development plans in the columns of the 
Humboldt Times. He was ably assisted in this matter by editors throughout 
the county, and by October 19, at a meeting of the Federated Commercial 
Bodies of Humboldt County, held in the rooms of the Chamber of Commerce, 
the eminent Judge George Rowe, a pomologist of national reputation, being 
present, Mr. Irvine made a vigorous address in favor of bringing somebody 
to Humboldt county for the purpose of starting its promotion activities. 

A few weeks later a man of the name R. R. Wilson was brought from 
Seattle to take charge of the work. He remained for some months, and with 
the aid of a vigorous committee and newspaper support the committee 
raised pledges amounting to almost $55,000 for a campaign planned to last 
three years. 

The following gentlemen took a prominent part in the work of that 
organization: William S. Clark, Eureka; Dr. F. M. Bruner, Ferndale; C. D. 
Daly, Eureka ; Henry Brizard, Areata ; J. F. Coonan, Eureka ; Ralph W. Bull, 
Areata; C. H. Palmtag, Eureka; Leon Baker, Blue Lake; J. E. Merriam, 
Blue Lake; L. F. Puter, Eureka; Brousse Brizard, Bald Mountain; H. L. 
Ricks, Eureka; E. B. Bull, Ft. Seward; E. A. Leach, Eureka; C. J. McCon- 
naha, Trinidad ; L. C. Everding, Korbel ; A. E. McLaren, Eureka ; F. H. 
Bertsch, Loleta; C. H. Wright, Loleta; W. H. Perrott, Loleta; H. L. Jack- 
man, Eureka ; S. V. Morrison, h>rndale ; \\^alter Coggeshall, Eureka ; J. H. 
Ring, Ferndale; B. E. Porter, Eureka; E. W. Haight, Fortuna; John Gaar- 
den, Fortuna; J. J. Krohn, Areata; B. F. Stern, Eureka; G. H. Burchard, 
Areata; C. H. Eisner, Eureka; W. A. Preston, Areata; L. C. Morgan, For- 
tuna. Hundreds of others joined the movement later. 

Under this organization vigorous work was begun for the purpose of 
inducing a farm advisor to locate in Humboldt county. Within a few 
months Dean Hunt, of the State University, detailed Prof. A. H. Christian- 
sen to visit Humboldt county and make it later his permanent home as farm 
advisor. He began his work, his expenses being paid by the Humboldt 
Promotion and Development Committee, which was the name of the organ- 
ization formed, but his salary has been and is still paid by the State Uni- 
versity itself. The work of the farm advisor has been considered one of the 
most important enterprises ever undertaken in Humboldt county, which 
obtained a great deal of splendid publicity by reason of the fact that it v/as 
the first county in the State to be favored and honored by having a special 
soil analyst and agricultural expert detailed to come and live among its 
people. 

Professor Christiansen began his work about July, 1913, and worked 
thoroughly and vigorously in every section of the county, immediately 
establishing all kinds of farm plots for the elucidation of agricultural in- 
formation and the education of the public. In describing his mode of opera- 



142 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

tion recently he spoke as follows : "The plan which I am putting forth is, 
in short, this — that each center chooses a topic, say the first topic may be 
lime and its uses in the way of improving the soil. We would discuss lime 
from its formation in the crude lime rocks down to the various forms as 
they appear on the market, hydrated limes, water-slacked lime, air-slacked 
lime, caustic lime, calcium carbonate, calcium oxide, etc., following out the 
changes of one lime to another, and how one is converted into the other. I 
have planned to make this as simple and non-technical as possible, although 
dipping enough into chemistry so that when we speak of a carbonate we 
can do so and have the audience understand all we are talking about. 

"My purpose is to fix the limes in the minds of each one of the farmers 
so he will know how much one lime is worth in terms of any other that 
may be on the market; how much lime rock for instance he wovild be justi- 
fied in using on his land ; how much he ought to pay for this lime rock, as 
compared w4th what he was paying for caustic lime ; how much air-slacked 
lime or hvdrated lime he would be apt to get from a ton of caustic lime, 
etc." 

The Professor is going into many other practical phases of agriculture 
and he says when each member of the agricultural centers which he is 
establishing is thoroughly at home with lime so that he will know a special 
kind of lime when he sees it, on what class of soil to use one class of 
lime and what kind would be benefited by another kind, — in short, how to 
know lime thoroughly, — then we would pass on, he says, to a subject like 
balanced rations and discuss proteids, carbohydrates, fats, and their relation 
to one another. He would then carry them into the question of balanced 
rations and the rotation of crops. 

For carrying on studies of this kind. Professor Christiansen has been 
retained for two years in advance of the term that he had been engaged for, 
by resolution of the supervisors of the county, passed early in May, 1914, 
and will remain with the county. 

Another important matter which was taken up by the organization was 
the question of good roads. Engineer Burrell, of the Federal Bureau of 
Highways, visited Humboldt county and gave several public addresses. 
Not only did he do this, but he drew an extensive plan of roads which was 
afterwards taken up by the people, although nothing substantial has been 
done at this date (1914) on the subject. The work, however, has roused 
public sentiment and led to other matters of great interest, as we shall see. 
This brings us to the state highway. 

The State Highway question and the building of a system of county 
roads are closely interwoven. A great convention was called in August, 
1913, for the purpose of discussing what was known as good roads in three 
states. The convention was called the Three States Good Roads Rally, and 
was attended by' Governor Hiram Johnson, of California, and Governor 
Ernest Lister, of Washington. Governor West, of Oregon, could not come, 
owing to the fact that Secretary Franklin K. Lane, of the Interior Depart- 
ment, was at that time his guest at Portland, Ore. Hundreds of delegates 
came to the convention which held a great banquet at the Vance House 
and at that time there was born in the people the spirit and ambition of 
good road builders. Humboldt county had always been more or less 
famous, however, for the good character of its roads. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 143 

Following the Three States Good Roads Rally there was more or less 
desultory talk about good highways, but it did not come into very promi- 
nent and active operation as a public movement until February, 1914. 

A little before this time Leigh H. Irvine had been appointed Secretary 
of the Humboldt Promotion and Development Committee, and when he was 
called upon by Engineer Sommer, division engineer for Northern California, 
he discovered that there was apathy among the supervisors and the public 
at large, so a hurried meeting of the executive committee was called, prac- 
tically in the nature of a conference of the directors, and vigorous steps 
were taken to bring to bear upon the supervisors the influence of the heavy 
property owners in behalf of good roads. To cut the story short, it may 
be said that the vigorous work of the Promotion Committee saved the day 
and made possible the buying of $1,500,000 worth of bonds by the super- 
visors of the county for the purpose of guaranteeing a splendid state high- 
way from the northern boundary of Humboldt county to its extreme south- 
ern boundary. Fifty or sixty property owners were induced by the secre- 
tary and the committee to call upon the supervisors and a similar call one 
week later was made by fifty or sixty more prominent property owners, 
who were greatly aided by District Attorney Hill, who made it plain to the 
supervisors that it would be possible to buy the bonds to the amount 
desired by the committee, if certain methods were followed. 

It was then necessary to explain to audiences throughout the county, 
and this was done by the secretary, who made it clear to a number of 
chambers of commerce, women's clubs, and other civic organizations, that 
the purchase of a million and a half dollars' worth of bonds would practi- 
cally cost the county nothing — that it would in reality work a great saving 
of funds for the county. 

The difficulty which confronted Humboldt county, like that which con- 
fronted a great many other counties at that time, was that there was a 
general misunderstanding of the meaning of a bond purchase. The law was 
such that the State could not sell the bonds for less than par, but they were 
below par and a slow investment; so the State was compelled to rely upon 
its friends for the purchase of the bonds. By buying these bonds in lots 
or installments of $150,000 each, it was explained that the loss could not 
exceed five or six per cent of the sum, that being the difference between 
the market value and the par value of the bonds. Thus, after the people 
began to understand that they covild get $1,500,000 worth of highways at a 
cost not to exceed $60,000 or $70,000, and that as soon as the highways 
were finished the State would have to take care of them and that the county 
would save about $50,000 a year in the upkeep, there was enthusiasm in 
favor of the bond purchase. 

The Promotion Committee held a number of meetings with other organ- 
izations, had a number of committees appointed, and induced many organ- 
izations to pass resolutions in favor of the bonds, so that at the end of a 
few weeks there was a great change in the tide of public opinion, and the 
supervisors were cheered when they bought the first $150,000 worth of 
bonds. 

As an evidence of the successful operation of modern promotive efforts 
it should be said that the fight was not then over. The committee realized 
that it would be necessary to make a specific contract with the State High- 



144 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

way Commission, under the terms of which they would guarantee that every 
dollar expended by Humboldt county for the purchase of bonds would be 
immediately expended, or expended as soon as possible, for the building of 
highways in Humboldt county. 

To make this matter absolutely certain a committee consisting of Capt. 
Walter Coggeshall, C. H. Palmtag, Henry Brizard, and Thomas Hine, was 
detailed to go to Sacramento and San Francisco for the purpose of inter- 
viewing the State Highway Commissioners and inducing them to live up to 
the promises which the committee had made the supervisors and the people 
of Humboldt county. 

Capt. Walter W. Coggeshall w^as chairman of the committee and on 
his return to Eureka he reported that the State Highway Commission had 
acceded to the terms of the contract as outlined by the promotion commit- 
tee, and that it was recorded in the minutes of the meeting of the highway 
commission that the commission would authorize the construction of high- 
ways in Humboldt county at all times to the extent of the purchase by 
Humboldt county, and under the terms of- the arrangement made between 
the promotion committee and the supervisors. 

About this time great activities throughout the county were noticeable 
in the way of promoting agricultural, industrial, and manufacturing inter- 
ests. The promotion committee began its work of attempting to get great 
paper-mills established somewhere in proximity to Humboldt bay. It ob- 
tained reports from expert makers of paper to the effect that the ordinary 
redwood waste, which is destroyed to the extent of hundreds of thousands 
of tons each year in the woods and around the mills, would make splendid 
paper by the sulphite process. A number of analyses indicated that the 
redwood waste gave a long fiber and that the bleaching presented no diffi- 
culties that could not be overcome on a practical and economic basis. It 
was shown that the paper is susceptible of a high polish and might be made 
into the finest grades of stationery and book paper. The results of the 
various experiments conducted at practical mills were in evidence in the 
form of a number of beautiful samples of wrapping paper, of a high grade of 
tough, glazed white paper, and of the very finest samples of paper for cor- 
respondence. The report of practical chemists and manufacturers indicated 
their absolute confidence in the practicability of a paper-mill in Humboldt 
county and some of them expressed the belief that with the completion of 
the jetties and the coming of the canal, freight rates would be low enough 
to enable the paper-mills around Humboldt bay, if established, to compete, 
if occasion should require, with the mills of the East on their own ground. 

C. Stowell Smith, assistant District Forester of the United States De- 
partment of Agriculture in San Francisco, also made some experiments 
with paper and reported that the paper-making fibers from redwood were 
excellent if properly prepared — strong, fairly thick-walled, slender, and long 
— in fact, two-thirds longer than most fibers. 

Immediately after these reports were made public in a number of 
speeches by the secretary of the promotion committee and by articles in the 
newspapers there was renewed interest in manufacturing in Humboldt 
county, and that interest is the most remarkable of the new commercial 
features and industrial activities of today. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 145 

The Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, under the able management 
and secretaryship of Secretary George A. Kellogg, has always stood for the 
welfare of the county and has been foremost in those activities which look 
to the building up of great commercial enterprises. Secretary Kellogg, in 
the course of a number of years of active experience, has collected a large 
amount of statistics which are invaluable. He has always been remarkably 
accurate and free from the boost or boom spirit so tmreliable and mislead- 
ing in many other communities of the United States. 

The Chamber of Commerce of Humboldt county, as the pioneer promo- 
tive organization, has always deserved great credit for the thoroughness of 
its labors. Somewhat conservative in its plan of operation, it nevertheless 
stands as the fundamental organization making for the betterment of the 
county. The promotion and development committee is carrying on its 
activities as a branch of the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce. 

Late in 1913 the Eureka Development Association, consisting of about 
three hundred members, was organized for the purpose of looking out 
specifically for the welfare of Eureka. It is today a prosperous organiza- 
tion under the secretaryship of Charles H. Roberts, a former newspaperman 
of Eureka. It spends several hundred dollars each month and its work in 
no way conflicts with that of the Chamber of Commerce and the promotion 
committee, whose activities are more specially county-wide, although neither 
organization is prohibited from doing anything within reason for the ad- 
vancement of the interests of any town in the county or of the welfare of 
the people at large, except that the promotion committee is not permitted to 
spend any of its funds for the purpose of advancing the interests of any 
special town. 

All the towns and the districts of the county are active to a greater or 
less extent in the field of promotion and commercial activities. Loleta has 
a board of trade, which is doing effective work; Blue Lake has a develop- 
ment board, which is always active; Ferndale has a chamber of commerce 
that has taken part in many important enterprises ; Fortuna has a board of 
trade which has never failed to be active at the right moment; and Areata 
boasts of a chamber of commerce which did a great deal of effective work 
in obtaining the Normal School, and which is always wide-awake when the 
interests of Areata are involved. 

Besides these organizations every one of the commercial bodies of the 
county is a member of the Federated Commercial Bodies of Humboldt 
County. The dairymen have an organization which is active in that line, 
the lumbermen and shinglemen have their organization, and no field is 
neglected. Secretary Frank J. Cummings of the Dairymen's Association is 
a scholarly man and an efficient secretary in his line of endeavor. 

It would probably be difficult to find any county in California of any- 
thing like the population of Humboldt that is giving more time and atten- 
tion to the development of its resources, or that is spending more money 
per capita each year for the activities of its commercial organizations. 
Eureka alone spends more than $2500 each month to maintain its many 
organizations of this character and carry on the work outlined by them. 

To sum up the activities of all these commercial bodies, it might be 
said that they are trying to get ready for that new time which is certain to 
confront the people of Humboldt county when the state highway is com- 



146 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

pleted, when the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company's trains begin to 
run from Eureka to San Francisco bay, and when the jetties are finished, 
the bay dredged, and the ships of the world will be able to come through 
the Panama Canal and land at the port of Eureka. 

These organizations place much store on the fact that the great red- 
wood belt, the rivers, and the lagoons, together with many other spots of 
scenic beauty will lure tourists from all parts of California, if not from the 
world. They are trying to build up an interest in hotels and resorts, as 
well as in all other lines which will cater to the tourist trade. They are 
fond of calling Humboldt county the playground of the west and are doing 
everything in their power to build up a tourist trade in this direction. 
They base much of their hope in this line on the fact that the climate 
around Humboldt bay is the coolest summer climate on the American 
continent, the hottest day ever known having been one when the ther- 
mometer barely reached 85 degrees above zero. 

Besides building up commercial activities, great work is being carried 
forward in the way of agriculture and agricultural colonies. The Humboldt 
Land and Development Company, organized by Frank K. Mott and his 
association at Oakland, have twenty-two thousand five hundred acres of 
land at Fort Seward, destined to be the metropolis of southern Humboldt. 
This great concern is getting ready for thousands of citizens and it will 
build a town there which will probably be the principal shipping point south 
of Eureka. 

Activities like those of the Fort Seward company are destined to multi- 
ply, for with a careful study of horticulture and scientific methods of carry- 
ing on the dairying and vegetable gardens trade, there is certain to be a 
growth of canneries and kindred activities. The work of establishing can- 
neries, wood-working companies, and similar lines of industrial activities is 
being pushed forward by almost every organization in the county. 

Some of the other problems which they are taking hold of vigorously 
concern the handling of the flood waters in the Eel river bottom, also 
along Mad river. Owing to the flat valleys and the fact that there are great 
volumes of water plunging from the mountains each winter, it is a serious 
question how to prevent the overflow of land, as well as to prevent the river 
from eating up thousands of acres of land every few years. Engineers have 
figured that the toll of the river has already cost, in the last twenty years, 
ten thousand acres of land valued at $500 an acre. The effort to reclaim 
some of these lost acres is now being pushed forward with great activity by 
the Chamber of Commerce of Humboldt county and many other organiza- 
tions either affiliated with it or co-operating with it in this important work. 

Another great effort now being put forth by the promotive organiza- 
tions, civic clubs, women's clubs, and others looks to the preservation of a 
great National redwood forest in Humboldt county. A bill looking to this 
purpose has long been before Congress and the organizations of the county 
are (1914) spending every energy to the accomplishment of their desire. 

Everybody in Humboldt county and everybody who ever sees the big 
trees hope that congressional action may save them from the axe of the 
woodmen. Closely connected with the question of preserving the forests is 
the problem of equitable taxation, for unless the forests shall be taxed under 
some such scientific plan as that which obtains in Germany, where the 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 147 

ground is taxed for its value at all times, and where the trees are never 
taxed until they are cut, the case will look hopeless. These wonderful 
trees are the oldest and most majestic of all the sky-piercing sequoia sem- 
pervirens that were "God's first temples." It is evident that if the children 
of tomorrow are to be permitted to see these precious relics of prehistoric 
America— sublime survivors of the far-away centuries — there is urgent need 
of immediate conservation, for the tracts closest to the railroad and the state 
highway are disappearing before the woodmen from the mills at the rate of 
about four thousand acres each year. No spectacle that California can ofifer 
the tourist from the East or from foreign countries will ever equal the 
mighty redwoods, for which reason it would be a shame if they were to be 
destroyed before practical conservation might take care of them. The big 
timber and lumber owners have informed a number of commercial organiza- 
tions, especially the promotion committee, that they will be glad to give a 
price to a congressional committee if that price will be considered as confi- 
dential, and they have also expressed themselves as willing to meet the 
public half-way in this matter, feeling that they have enjoyed a great privi- 
lege in buying them for small sums, for which reason they are willing to be 
generous to the extent of selling to the government for less than the market 
price. The Hon. William Kent and a number of other congressmen of 
means have signified a desire to help in the matter, not only by their vote 
and activity, but by making substantial gifts to the purchase funds. Too 
much credit can not be given to the women's clubs, and the organizations 
around Fortuna in particular, for their activity in behalf of the preservation 
of a great redwood forest for the generations yet to come. 

Possibly the most hopeful feature about all of the work of these organ- 
izations is seen in the fact that the people are now beginning to understand 
the value of organized efforts. The Federal Bureau of Commerce of the 
United States recently issued a report on the work of American develop- 
ment associations. After examining the activities of almost one hundred 
cities and towns, its experts concluded that the education of public senti- 
ment to the point of realizing the value of team-work for the general 
welfare was perhaps the most valuable feature in all promotion and devel- 
opment work, and that the maintenance of an active organization of this 
character is always worth everything that any community can pay for it. 
Secretary Irvine, of the Humboldt Promotion and Development Committee, 
is making this campaign for the education of public sentiment, and it is his 
belief that the best work which the committee can possibly do is to rouse 
the patriotic impulses that have long lain in the breasts of a number of good 
citizens of the olden time. 

Old residents of the county are noticing the fact that the activities of 
these commercial and development organizations mark a new time in the 
work of the county. In conjunction with this, although it has not been 
taken up by any of the organizations, there is a quiet movement in many 
parts of the county to suppress the coming into Humboldt of a number of 
unfit and undesirable citizens. Almost every steamer brings Greeks, Sla- 
vonians, and others who can neither read nor write the English language and 
who will work for a very small wage. In this connection, many labor 
organizations are doing all in their power to prevent employment bureaus 



148 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

and like organizations in San Francisco from sending empty-handed men 
into Humboldt county. 

The promotion committee and other organizations take the position 
that while this is an empire of virgin opportunities for the right man, it 
will be unwise to leap in the dark. These organizations are trying to give 
facts that should be known by every sensible person before he even thinks 
of visiting the county. While they maintain that it is a wonderful country 
for the right man, they are very anxious to have those who start investi- 
gate the question as to whether they are the right men before they buy 
their tickets. Those contemplating a visit to Humboldt county are warned 
not to come under any mistaken impression that gold grows on the bushes 
anywhere in the Golden West. All inquirers are plainly told that the county 
needs capital and skill in manufacturing, agricultural, horticultural and 
kindred industries. The committee discourages the rifif-raff from flocking 
into the North under the mistaken belief that there is a chance for every- 
body. Those desiring to do common labor are advised to make inquiry 
before they rashly come into a strange land without funds. 



CHAPTER XX. 
Past and Prospective Humboldt Agriculture. 

The student of history, especially if he goes to original sources, will soon 
learn by talking with men and women who settled in Humboldt county any time 
between 1858 and 1870 that the history of agriculture in those times was much 
like the famous book on snakes in Iceland. The author had the book bound in 
beautiful covers, and it contained almost a thousand pages, only one of which 
contained any printed matter. The only words appearing in the entire book 
were printed in bold letters on the first page. The text was as follows : "As 
for snakes in Iceland, there are none." 

As for agriculture in Humboldt county during the early days of its occupa- 
tion, there was almost nothing worthy of the name. Much of the development of 
this county ever since it was settled has lain along the line of lumbering. The 
fact that mighty virgin forests abound in this great county has always attracted 
the capitalists and the woodsmen alike. It was natural that the great profits 
which were made in this industry should intensify it, and it is also natural that 
agriculture should take a secondary place during a long period of years. Of 
course sheep and cattle ranges abounded in the old days, and a rude form of 
agriculture also existed side by side with the grazing industry. 

But the conditions of yesterday could not continue indefinitely, for the reason 
that the great development of agriculture along scientific lines was sure to make 
our acres valuable to the husbandman. Such men as Henry DeVoy soon saw 
the great advantage of our climatic conditions and scores of them have reaped 
fortunes from the soil. 

It is well known that there was a period when it was almost impossible to 
market the perishable crops satisfactorily. Even today (1914) the only way 
to ship crops satisfactorily is by water, although the completion of the North- 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 149 

western Pacific will bring new and different conditions to the farmers of Hum- 
boldt county. 

There was a time, particularly from 1870 to 1880, when clover was known 
as the king of agricultural products. Prior to that time Humboldt county 
was known as the greatest potato belt in all the West, but potatoes were so cheap 
in those days that the growing of these tubers was abandoned in favor of clover. 

With the coming of clover it was inevitable that the dairying industry should 
take its place as one of the great productive occupations of the county. 

Many years ago a number of far seeing farmers and business men began to 
devise ways and means whereby they might use the cut-over lands which had 
sustained forests of redwood, but no great progress was made for the simple 
reason that there were no organizations to take the matter up seriously, aggres- 
sively, and scientifically. It might be said in a general way that the organization 
of the Humboldt Promotion and Development Committee, following the editorial 
agitation by Leigh H. Irvine, managing editor of the Humboldt Times, supple- 
mented by his addresses on the history and philosophy of community develop- 
ment, was the beginning of the organized movement which finally culminated in 
the present efficient farm bureau system that characterizes the agricultural activ- 
ities of the county. 

The promotion committee was organized on October 19, 1912^ and by the 
middle of July, 1914, Prof. A. H. Christiansen had been detailed to the county 
by the State University at Berkeley as official farm adviser. He immediately 
began his work in conjunction with the promotion committee and it was not very 
long before farm centers were organized throughout the county. These are 
really farmers' clubs, which meet and discuss practical questions pertaining 
to the good and welfare of the farmers. All sorts of questions concerning soil 
analysis, rotation of crops, fertilization, the use of lime, and green manuring 
are discussed at these meetings. The farm advisor usually visits a center at 
least once a month, but the work grew so fast the first year that a determined 
effort was made to obtain another advisor to enter the field with him. 

The older school of Humboldters — men like Ex-Governor James N. Gillett 
and W. S. Clark — were long suspicious of any efforts to make Humboldt county 
a typical agricultural region ; but those who have watched the painstaking work 
of those farmers who are following Professor Christiansen now realize that 
thousands of acres heretofore regarded as unfit for agriculture are destined to 
become productive. The beginning of the new agriculture may be said to have 
dated from the coming of Professor Christiansen and the organization of his 
farm bureau. Methods wholly unknown to the farmers of early days are now 
practiced successfully every day. The use of lime on sour lands has worked 
wonders wherever it has been tried. 

Another important epoch in the history of Humboldt agriculture may be 
said to have dated from the arrival of Charles Willis Ward, of New York in 
1913. His father had left him a large amovmt of redwood land and he was" 
drawn to the county by reason of litigation affecting the title to his holdings. 
As he had been engaged in the nursery business and truck gardening in New 
York City for many years, as he is at this writing, he. began to experiment 
with Humboldt soil. Within six months after his arrival he had transformed 
an ordinary Eureka lot into a rich garden of delightful vegetables. By the use 
of his soil board, and by scientific fertilization and gardening he produced seven 
crops of lettuce within a few months, each crop following the other in rotation. 



150 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

He demonstrated that the chmatic conditions and soil are such as to warrant a 
great deal of activity in berrying, truck gardening, and like industries. He soon 
bought two large places in Eureka and has turned the yards into scientific gar- 
dens for the production of vegetables. 

Not content with this small way of doing business he bought a good sized 
farm on Yager creek, not far from the town of Carlotta. As Mr. Ward is the 
author of the World's Standard Work on Carnations, and as he has long been 
a successful horticulturist, there is much hope in his prophecy that Humboldt 
county is destined to afford a living to hundreds of men and women who know 
how to raise good vegetables by the use of modern methods. He says there is 
not an acre of ground anywhere in the vicinity of Eureka. Areata, and other 
towns around the bay that is not capable of producing a good living for a family 
of moderate size. 

No history of Humboldt county's agricultural and horticultural development 
would be complete without some mention of the great work carried on by the 
Humboldt Land and Development Company, of which Mayor Frank K. Mott, 
of Oakland, is president. This company bought almost twenty-three thousand 
acres known as the Fort Seward country in the year 19n. In anticipation of the 
completion of the railroad the company, under the management of E. B. Bull, 
laid out a townsite adjacent to the river at Fort Seward. Scientific gardeners and 
farmers were brought to the land, and it was through the effort of Mr. Bull that 
Judge G. W. Rowe, vice-president of the American Pomological Society, first 
visited Humboldt county. As stated elsewhere in this work, he found the 
greatest apple lands in the world in this far away country. 

Enough is known of the agricultural achievements of the past to warrant 
great hope in the future. The history of the walnut industry, though a brief one, 
shows the line of endeavor that is likely to characterize the future of Flumboldt 
county. Many years ago some venturesome soul planted some walnuts of com- 
mercial value. Though they were neglected and almost forgotten, they have often 
produced wonderful crops. In the Petrolia country, which was looked over, about 
1911, by Joseph Bagley of Eureka, who is deeply interested in walnut culture, 
there are many evidences that the old trees are heavy bearers. These scarred 
veterans of the forest have here and there attracted much attention and favorable 
comment. Expert walnut men from other parts of California, notably C. W. 
Sheats, have come and seen and been conquered by the beautiful growth they 
have beheld. A number of interested persons, encouraged by these evidences of 
past growths, are now projecting plans that look to the subdivision of some of 
these lands for the purpose of scientific walnut culture. 

Though tlie old residents have wandered over all parts of the county, they 
usually paid little attention to the rolling lands except for grazing purposes. The 
last ten years, however, have shown that the prairies are susceptible of wonderful 
uses by the farmers. The prairies are, in a general way, the following: Dow's 
prairie, Trinidad prairie, Hydesville prairie, Rohnerville prairie, the upland 
prairies of Mattole, the upland prairies of Garberville, and in a general way the 
prairies along the Klamath river. The uplands have been developed sufficiently 
during the last few years to attract the attention of the historian who cares to 
note the progress of agriculture. The uplands above Hydesville, those in the 
Table Bluff section, those above Trinidad, above Mattole, and along the Upper 
Mattole river have been developed sufficiently to indicate their great value. As 
a rule they are excellent for dairying, while every vegetable grows to perfection. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 151 

Melons and tomatoes thrive better here than ahnost anywhere in the state. 
It may be worth while to look into the future and give the reader an idea of the 
line of development likely to characterize the agricultural activities of tomorrow. 
By the time this chapter is before the reader Humboldt county will have an 
outlet by rail which will enable it to market its products without delay and to 
reach the buyer when the price is of most advantage to the producer. 

In predicting what the future of any part of Humboldt county may be one is 
reminded of the famous declaration of the immortal Patrick Henry, who declared 
in one of the most famous speeches ever made on American soil that he knew no 
way of judging the future but by the past. He would guide his footsteps by the 
lamp of experience. 

So, in making a forecast regarding any section of California or any part of 
Humboldt county, one must bear in mind the lessons of experience. Those who 
know the Eel river valley best willingly testify that every acre of her rich bottom 
land is susceptible of highly profitable uses. The heavy soil is like a mint in the 
open, for it is rich enough to enable any man of thrift and experience to coin a for- 
tune therefrom. 

Although the values of these acres are today deemed excessive by some 
people, the truth is that we have scarcely begun to use the soil to its full capacity. 
With the coming of an increased population to Northern California, Humboldt 
county is certain to be visited by thousands of men and women who know what's 
what in agriculture, and particularly in dairying. 

This simply means that our present method of handling this important branch 
of industry will be modernized, and when every acre is made to give the best 
possible account of itself production will be greatly enhanced. Expert agricul- 
turists who have seen and examined the great dairying sections south of Beatrice 
unhesitatingly predict that there will be a greatly increased output per acre within 
the next few years. If we admit that the present rich acreage can be made richer 
still, the picture of tomorrow becomes a pleasant one indeed. 

How are these improvements to be brought about? Primarily through 
efficiency engineering applied to the farm. For example, the cows now furnish- 
ing milk for the dairymen produce about two hundred pounds of butter fat per 
year. The cows that should be used in this industry would produce six hundred 
pounds of butter fat during the same period. Not only is this true, but the six 
hundred pounds of butter fat from the improved breed of cows will be a far 
better grade than any ever yet produced in Humboldt county. 

The improvements which the thoughtful person sees in the dairying industry 
alone will come about by the vise of better cows and better feed. Those who 
know most about the dairying industry are of the opinion that it would be well 
for dairymen in the Eel river valley to agree upon some good strain of milk- 
producing cows. The Holstein, Guernsey, and the Jersey are said to be excel- 
lently adapted for this rich country. There are advantages in uniformity. The 
history of dairying shows a tendency toward uniformity. 

A third element destined to contribute to the greatness of the dairying indus- 
try, therefore to the wealth and prosperity of this section, will be found in clean 
milk. Scientific methods and sanitary precautions will be very much increased 
within the next ten years, and every improvement of this character will make for 
a greater Eel river valley. Let us assume that dairying will remain the chief 
business of this section of Humboldt county. There is not likely to be any 
diminution of the demand for high grade dairying products in the L^nited States, 



152 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

and with the increase of population which CaHfornia is sure to obtain, dairying on 
an intensified and scientific basis will surely always remain one of our greatest 
productive industries. 

In the Scotia country, and after you cross the Van Duzen river, also up the 
Eel river and the Van Duzen^ one cannot fail to see many rich pockets, little 
valleys and hillsides susceptible of intensive horticulture, agriculture, and dairy- 
ing. Alfalfa will yet come into its own in many parts of this region. The first 
section of the Van Duzen valley will be excellent for alfalfa, hog-raising, mixed 
agriculture, the vine, berries and fruits. It is easy to see either one or two good 
sized canneries or many small ones dotting the hillsides of tomorrow. With greater 
freighting facilities it is not impossible that fresh fruits and berries may find 
a market in the years to come. 

Going up the main Eel river by way of Peppcrwood, Shively and Camp 
Grant, one beholds a region that stands almost alone in its wonderful possi- 
bilities for almost all kinds of fruits, berries and alfalfa. When the cry "Back 
to the land !" begins to ring throughout the country these lonely acres will be 
peopled with a large and independent population of intelligent husbandmen. In 
the past these wilds have been in the hands of hunters and trappers. 

People are reading these days and Bolton A. Hall's theory of three acres 
and liberty has not fallen on the desert air. Some of us are remembering that 
Abraham Lincoln said that the problem of the future of this land of the stars 
and stripes would be to master the art of making a good living from the smallest 
possible area of the soil. He held that a community whose every member knows 
how to cultivate the soil need never fear any kind of oppression, for that com- 
munity would be alike independent of crowned kings, money kings, and land 
kings. If this be true, and it sounds like wisdom, we can see that this section 
wall contain a prosperous and independent people. 

The conditions obtaining in the bench and hill lands just described are 
largely duplicated in the Mattole valley, along the upper South Fork, and in the 
White Thorn valley. With increased transportation facilities, the completion of 
the railroad, the jetties and the Panama Canal, it is possible that the extreme 
southern portions of Humboldt county will experience rapid development. Albert 
Etter is already in touch with large Australian corporations whose managers 
have heard of the wonderful possibilities which the Mattole section presents to 
those interested in canning fruits and berries. 

It is impossible that Briceland and the many table lands, lowlands and other 
desirable sections will remain uncultivated. Many little agricultural centers, 
villages and shipping points are likely to spring up throughout this section with 
the development of alfalfa, farming, dairying, fruits, hog raising and the pro- 
duction of walnuts and other nuts that give promise of high commercial profits. 
Joseph Bagley is the pioneer among scientific walnut growers in this section. 
C. W. Sheats, late of Santa Ana, has recently (1914) located in the walnut busi- 
ness in this section. 

In forecasting the possibilities of poultry raising in the county, the southern 
part of the county should not be overlooked. Those experienced in this line 
of work are unanimously of the opinion that our climatic conditions, coupled 
with the richness of our soil, make southern Humboldt the ideal spot for the 
poultry business. 

Of course the rougher lands will have to be used in connection with stock- 
raising, for there are many acres where the successful farmer will be com- 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 153 

pelled to run stock in connection with gardens, orchards and dairying. It can 
not be denied that much of our land will always remain a grazing area. It is 
to be regretted that we have not yet come upon any method that will guarantee 
an equitable subdivision of the very large holdings in southern Humboldt. There 
are hundreds of tracts susceptible of supporting a large number of families, but 
they now constitute portions of vast areas which are owned by one or two men. 
Nobody would confiscate this property, but one of the problems of the future will 
be to reclaim this land from its present wild condition and make it the scene of 
many happy homes. There are vast tracts given over to cattle which should 
be cut up into small farms. 

It should not be forgotten that one of the greatest apple experts in the 
world, George E. Rowe, vice-president of the American Pomological Society, has 
declared that Humboldt county contains some of the best apple-growing lands 
on the face of the earth. 

When the Humboldt Promotion and Development Committee was started on 
October 19, 1912, Judge Rowe addressed the assembled delegates at a conven- 
tion of the federated commercial bodies of the county at the Chamber of Com- 
merce in Eureka. He said southern Humboldt was the only place he could 
name anywhere that would produce all of the highest grades of apples in per- 
fection of color, size, flavor and texture. He emphasized the fact that our cli- 
matic conditions are such as to render late shipments particularly profitable. 
After he had finished his second inspection of the apple bearing and other fruit 
lands of Humboldt county, particularly of southern Humboldt, Judge Rowe, 
writing on September 29, 1913, addressed the Humboldt Promotion Committee 
as follows regarding his opinion of the great fruit bearing sections in question : 

"After having spent the month of September examining your valleys, hills, 
and table lands ; consulting with your oldest settlers, ranchers and fruit growers ; 
examining fruits in the old orchards and vineyards that have had but little care, I 
am even more optimistic than I was last year when I told you that Humboldt 
county was the most perfect garden spot in America, and that your soil and 
climate under proper direction would yield millions to future generations, where 
your redwoods have yielded thousands to the present. 

"That is true and it might be stated even stronger, for the range of fruits 
and vegetables of the highest class that can be grown here at a good profit can 
not be equalled in any place in the world. Apples, pears, peaches, prunes, grapes, 
as well as the best small fruits and vegetables can not only be grown economically, 
but can be placed in the world's great markets to better advantage and at less 
actual cost than from most of the other fruit sections of the West. 

"What has increased the value of your redwoods? Twenty years ago, and 
even less, they could be bought for from $6 to $12 per acre, while the same 
timber today is worth from $500 to $2000 per acre. The redwood is no better 
than it was twenty years ago, but men of genius and means have found a market 
and a way to put it on the market at a reasonable cost. Fifteen or twenty years 
ago your dairy lands were worth from $25 to $50 an acre. The land is no better 
today than then, but the land is worth today from $300 to $500 per acre. Why? 

"Because men who have made a study of the industry have found a way to 
produce the goods and find a market for dairy products at a large profit. What 
has been true of the dairy industry will also be true of the fruit industry in the 
hands of men who will put the same energy into the one that the other requires. 



154 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

The successful development of any industry requires men with knowledge, 
coupled with ambition. 

"Humboldt county has the soil, on its hills, table lands, and valleys, that is 
well adapted to dairying and fruit growing, and a climate that is equally adapted 
for the growing of the highest qualities of fruits. 

"With the opening of the Panama Canal and the new railroad transportation, 
I look forward to the time when Humboldt county will boast thousands of happy, 
successful farm homes, where today there are but hundreds." 

Continuing his discussion, Mr. Rowe said that the results would be wonder- 
ful when people begin to understand the cultivation of apples and other fruits 
along scientific lines. He thought the finest results possible anywhere on the 
globe would be obtained in southern Humboldt county. He said : "Here you 
can grow the very highest class of apples in the world, and this is the only spot 
I know of where every one of the highest class varieties will grow to perfection. 
The keeping qualities are also very fine. The varieties which will pay best and 
which I have particularly in mind are Spitzenbergs, Northern Spy, Canada Reds, 
Mclntoshes, Jonathans, Kings, and Grimes Goldens. 

"Now there are many places where two or three of these varieties will grow 
well, but southern Humboldt is unique in having an apple belt where all kinds of 
the best varieties do splendidly. Though you can also grow cheaper grades of 
apples, it would not be a business proposition to do so. It is not a good policy to 
produce the inferior apples, because you would come into competition with other 
sections of the country that grow inferior varieties and can grow nothing else. 
Your lands are worth more for the high grade apples than for other things. You 
might develop and grow here to command the market, or at least a great market 
at a late period in the season. This is of inestimable value." 

Humboldters know that the elevated apple lands of this county will miss many 
of the pests that infest other sections. Apples that grow to the pink of perfection 
and are also exempt from these pests, are about all that the world might ask. 

It is easy to paint a picture of many happy families and thrifty communities 
as a result of the development of the apple industry, which is sure to be one of 
the greatest activities of the next five or ten years in those parts of the county 
which are adapted for the growth of apples. 

The building of a large number of evaporating plants and canneries for the 
products of our orchards will undoubtedly change the entire face of the country 
and the trend of industry. If we should be careful with regard to the class of 
immigrants whom we encourage to come this way, selecting the better European 
type and some of the more intelligent farmers and horticulturists from the East, 
we shall find great improvement in our social and civic life. 

Albert E. Etter, Humboldt county's famous plant breeder and strawberry 
grower, predicts great things for the small fruits and berries. He sees many 
spots which are capable of being transformed into veritable gardens of Eden, 
this without any fear of frost or pests. Here is a fairly comprehensive list of 
the growing berries and fruits that are known to mature to perfection in the 
county: Apples, pears, prunes, peaches, cherries, apricots, plums, nectarines, 
quinces, raspberries, currants, strawberries, and loganberries. Almost anything 
that thrives in a mild climate will do well somewhere in Humboldt and beyond 
the coast region one may find prosperous vineyards, olive trees, walnuts, figs, 
almonds and other fruits and nuts that grow in warm zones where the soil is rich. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 155 

In tlie Eel river valley and out in the Briceland district as well as in countless other 
places, strawberries are excellent in size, color and flavor. Cherries grow any- 
where, but they thrive particularly in the Hydesville district, twenty-five miles 
from Eureka. Wild fruits almost anywhere testify to the warmth of the climate 
and the worth of the soil, berries and nuts being abundant. Wild huckleberries, 
blackberries, and strawberries are abundant. 

Mr. Etter says that Humboldt county can grow several types of strawber- 
ries and other small fruits that will make her famous. A large industry in 
canned and preserved fruits would be the result, since the market for such 
products is not today well supplied with the right kind of products. Before the 
business had been gone into extensively he thinks it would be well to experiment 
with standard varieties and possibly develop those imported from England, because 
they are known to be excellent for the purposes of jam. Red currants and goose- 
berries would also thrive in all that part of the country which will grow them at all. 
Mr. Etter says that God could have made a better fruit than the Humboldt straw- 
berry, but he didn't do it. He says the same cool and uniform climate that gives 
us superb strawberries will also give us excellent currants, raspberries and celery, 
string beans, peas and cauliflower. Deep soil and the humidity of the air, with the 
comparatively cool days and nights, make a lower moisture content in the soil 
necessary for perfect development than where the temperatures are compara- 
tively high. 

Strawberries grown in a hot. dry climate, require so much irrigation that they 
become mushy. Southern Humboldt has the proper conditions of temperature 
and air humidity for the production of the best small fruits in the world. These 
berries require a rich soil, a cool, humid atmosphere and either shade or a cloudy 
sky. The equivalent of these conditions throughout a large part of the county 
indicates the reasons for the remarkable berries and vegetables that are destined to 
give us a reputation the world over. It is not well to go fully into the question 
of pears, cherries and other forms of fruit, but all familiar with conditions know 
that a long list of valuable fruits and berries will thrive in this county. 

Thus it will be seen that in drawing a picture of southern Humboldt we have 
possibilities that ramify into many directions. With better roads, more resorts and 
the establishing of centers for tourists, it will be impossible to tell what the future 
has in store for us. 

While on the tourist question, it might be said that there are so many 
beautiful spots in southern Humboldt county that it seems impossible that the 
future will fail to give us a number of men and women engaged in catering to 
the great tourist trade. It is almost unnecessary to refer to the fact that Switzer- 
land lives on the tourist trade, as does Los Angeles, in our own state. In Los 
Angeles, for example, they built more than $34,000,000 worth of new structures in 
one year, largely as a result of the tourist traffic. Switzerland is a splendid exam- 
ple, and there a number of towns have hundreds of hotels, while two hundred 
and twenty thousand men and women are making a living from the tourist trade. 
There are eighteen thousand restaurants alone. 

Why should not Humboldt county become in fact the playground of the 
West? Why should southern Humboldt not become one of the most attractive 
spots in all the world for those who enjoy great scenery, hunting, fishing, and 
that contact with the beauties of nature which this section alone affords? 



156 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

CHAPTER XXI. 
Humboldt's Bench and Bar. 

The history of the bench and bar in Cahfornia has always been regarded 
as romantic and unique, because the conditions which prevailed when justice first 
established herself in the crude surroundings of mining days were unlike those 
existing in any other state or territory on the American continent. Most of 
California had fallen under the jurisdiction of Spain, for which reason the 
Alcaldes and their times marked the administration of justice with singularities 
unknown throughout the United States. 

Humboldt county, however, did not participate in the Spanish regime, for 
Humboldt county was and is in many particulars as unlike the Spanish parts of 
California as if it were located in some other part of the United States. The 
pioneers who settled Humboldt county were much unlike the pioneers of other 
parts of the state — men and women of courage, venturesome spirit, and great 
powers of endurance. The fact that many of the pioneers of Humboldt county 
came from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the New England states, gave this 
county a sterling class of early settlers. Most of the men were descended from 
woodsmen and sailors. Being strong, fearless, and for the most part honest, they 
injected a higher type of civic pride into their affairs than was common in some 
sections of the state where renegades now and then were in the ascendancy. 

But it must be remembered that hard characters found their way to Hum.- 
boldt, as well as elsewhere, and a rude form of justice sometimes asserted itself 
here as in the rest of the west. The fact that puritanical ideas prevailed among 
the ancestors of the early settlers here, coupled with their rigid schooling, made 
for honesty and good citizenship to a stronger extent than in many other parts 
of the state. Notwithstanding this fact there was lawlessness and there were many 
calls for the stern administration of justice. The development of the orderly 
processes of the law was rapid with the settlement of the country, and few 
counties in the state or in any other state can show a stronger background of law- 
abiding citizenship than that which sprang from the early days of Humboldt 
county. 

W. K. Strong, official court reporter of Humboldt county for a long period of 
time — more than a generation — has given an entertaining account of some of the 
lawyers who participated in the early conflicts in the courts of Huniboldt county. 
The following facts are either gleaned from his reminiscences as narrated on the 
occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of his becoming court reporter, or are 
directly quoted from his account of the men and the trials of the long ago. It 
appears that Mr. Strong was familiar with the "giants of those days" and their 
peculiarities. On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of his career as official 
reporter he told the members of the bar that it had been his duty for almost a 
lifetime to listen to the stories of bench and bar as told by judges and lawyers. 
It was now his time to do the talking, and he thought his recollections of the 
achievements of men long prominent in the field of forensic conflict might prove 
interesting to future generations, for which reason his memoirs seem to have a 
logical historic purpose. 

In 1876 he began his duties as official reporter of the District Court of the 
Eighth Judicial District, comprising the counties of Humboldt and Del Norte, 
"which Court was at that time and had been for many years ably presided over 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 157 

by the Honorable J. P. Haynes, and on the same day I was also appointed to a 
similar position in the County Court of the County, of which Hon. C. G. Stafford 
was then Judge, he having succeeded Hon. J. E. Wyman the month preceding. 
In the first place, and by way of preface, a few words about myself may not be 
out of place." 

The veteran reporter told those assembled that he was thrown on his own 
resources much earlier than the average boy. He worked through high school and 
was ready to enter the University before he was old enough for legal admission. 
It was an accident that directed him into the shorthand business, and he marvels 
now that it became his life-work. He had worked in coal mines and on dairy 
ranches. The fact that he became one of the famous court reporters of Cali- 
fornia indicates something of the character of early times in Humboldt. By "early 
times" the year 1873 is meant. Compared with the pioneer days that was a late 
date, but 1873 is a far cry from the twentieth century. 

It may be worth while to indicate that the man who became distinguished as a 
stenographer found himself alone for weeks at a time, with the exception of about 
twelve hundred sheep, which he was- herding. Frequently he didn't see anybody 
for a month at a time, and then only the man in charge of the pack mule, who 
brought him his provisions. It might be worth while for young men to note the 
fact that the idleness and the sheep, which were the only companions to occupy 
his time, had much to do with his career. The long and hot summer days, during 
which he trailed after his woolly charges from daylight until dark, gave him the 
hint to use his brain. He had a Manual of Marsh's phonography within his 
reach, so he set himself seriously to work to learn shorthand, simply because he 
had nothing else of an intellectual character with which to occupy himself. By 
the beginning of winter he could make pothooks in a crude way, and he considered 
himself considerable of a stenographer. He says: "I came up to Oakland to 
brush up on my studies and get ready to enter the University the following 
summer, and I eked out a living by giving lessons to other would-be short- 
handers, helping the court reporters in transcribing testimony, and by casual 
newspaper work ; but I do not mind confessing" that it was uphill work, and I 
often went to bed hungry." 

In 1875 he was a college student at Berkeley, and he made his short- 
hand serve him well by transcribing passages from the lectures of professors. He 
sold these to students who were too indifferent or lazy to attend the lectures. He 
recalls the fact that the State University class of 1879, although small in numbers, 
contained more men who have made their mark in the affairs of California than 
any class before or since. From that class there came a governor, several justices 
of the Supreme Court, Superior Judges, and a number of leading members of the 
professions. 

During the time when he was struggling to wnn his way through the Uni- 
versity he had many shorthand pupils among the students and professors. Among 
others. Judge George D. Murray, of the Superior Court of Humboldt county, was 
one of those who learned something of shorthand from Mr. Strong. 

It was through Mr. Murray, then a young man in the University, that Strong 
learned of a vacancy in the reportership of the Humboldt District Court. He 
immediately wrote to Judge Haynes, who afterwards became famous, and he 
soon received an encouraging letter from the Judge, coupled with the promise of 
appointment, if he could establish his competency by passing a proper examina- 



158 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

tion. Here is the way Mr. Strong tells of the events that followed, during the 
crude days of 1873 in the Humboldt courts : 

"Confidentially, the examination was the least of my troubles. Although I 
had never had a teacher, or taken a lesson, I had a profound confidence in my 
abilities, and if the position of secretary of state or premier of England or any- 
thing else had been ofTered me I should have accepted it with perfect faith that 
I would be able to discharge the duties to my own satisfaction. 

"Shortly before this a bill had been introduced in the legislature providing 
for an official reporter for Humboldt county, and fixing his salary of $1000 a 
year in addition to his fees, and as the assemblyman was governed in the matter 
by the wishes of the bar, and as there was at that time no constitutional pro- 
hibition of special legislation, it went through the assembly with flying colors. 
However, Judge McGarvey of Mendocino was the senator from this district at 
that session, and he could not imagine what Humboldt wanted of a reporter when 
Mendocino had none, and through his opposition the bill met the fate of a great 
deal of other embryo legislation and found its way to the waste basket^ much to 
my disappointment. 

"At the time I made up my mind to inflict my budding talents on the good 
people of Humboldt, I remember that my entire cash capital amounted to the 
modest sum of $2.75 in current coin of the republic, and the problem of how to 
get to Humboldt was one that appeared almost impossible of solution unless I 
walked. But it happened that about that time W. J. Sweasey, I. R. Brown, 
Thomas Baird and others had just completed the first steamer Humboldt, which 
was afterwards wrecked at Point Gorda, and had placed her on the Humboldt 
run in opposition to the steamer Pelican, then operated by Ben Holliday. The 
result was a rate war, and when I was ready to make the trip the fare was placed 
at $1.50 in the saloon and $2 on deck, a sum entirely within my reach, and I need 
not add that I came on deck. 

"We left San Francisco at 9 o'clock on April 10, 1876, and in the afternoon 
of the next day, as the old novelists have it, there might have been seen wending 
his way up Second street a long-legged, green and gawky youth, with a shabby 
valise in one hand and an equally shabby overcoat in the other, whose entire 
capital consisted of just six bits in money and that roseate future which is never 
so alluring as to youth and health. 

"I planted myself, of course, in the best hotel in the town, which at that 
time as well as now was the Vance, and then started out to hunt up my appoint- 
ment. I knew I had to pass the examination before receiving it, but that did 
not worry me a particle, and I am also free to confess that the thought of what 
would become of me and my seventy-five cents if I failed, never once entered my 
head. In fact, I had no intention of failing. The committee appointed to examine 
me consisted of S. M. Buck, J. J. De Haven, and J. G. Swinnerton, all of whom 
were leading members of the bar, and the speed required was one hundred and 
forty words a minute for five minutes, the matter to be transcribed accurately 
within a reasonable time thereafter. You must imagine that I was green at the 
business, for I allowed them to read me an editorial out of that morning's issue of 
the Times, with words in it as long as your hand, and a style of matter which 
would be difficult to one much more competent than I was. 

"In reporting testimony^ when you read the question you have something 
to go by as to what the answer is, and if you can read the answer the nex't 
question relates almost always to the last answer, but in a speech or an essay, 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 159 

this help is entirely wanting. In the former also the language is the simple every- 
day Englisli used in conversation, while in the latter unusual words and phrases 
are the rule. 

'T remember that on this occasion Mr. Buck did the reading, while the others 
held the watch. There was quite a crowd in the old court room on Second street, 
attracted by the novelty of the proceeding, and when we had concluded, on 
counting the words it was found that they had read at the rate of one hundred 
and forty-six a minute instead of one hundred and forty, but Mr. De Haven 
remarked that they would allow the extra six words for mistakes. 

"I took my notes and retired to the old jury room upstairs to write them 
out, and at first went along swimmingly, but I soon came to a snag, a big word 
I would not even guess at. and would you believe it, I allowed myself to get 
rattled, and in the twinkling of an eye every bit of shorthand I ever knew took 
to its wings and left me. I could not read a word past the snag, and the harder 
I tried the more indecipherable a mess of pothooks it looked. In about half an 
hour the committee began to get impatient and started hurrying me up, which 
of course only added to my confusion, and after an hour and a half they ad- 
journed until the next day. Now, you might imagine that I fingered my lonesome 
six bits in my pocket and went sadly to bed that night. Not a bit of it ; I was 
not built that way. I never had a moment's doubt of how smart I was ; in fact, 
I was like almost every other boy of my age, smarter then than I ever was 
afterwards, or ever will be again. God willing, and so I took in the town — what 
little there was to take in — and tlien went to bed early, got up the next morning 
at daylight, took a good walk, and turned up at the ofifice of Chamberlain & 
De Haven on Third street at 9 o'clock as fresh as a pink. 

"This time experience had made me wise, and I demanded testimony for test. 
The committee conceded this, and I passed the examination to their satisfaction, 
as I always knew I would. It happened that a jury was in attendance trying 
cases, and my appointment as official reporter of the County Court was imme- 
diately made by Judge Stafiford, and at 10 o'clock on the morning of April 12th, 
1876, I began the work which I have daily followed ever since. I was then a 
little past nineteen years of age, and the cut on the first page, which was made 
from a photograph taken within a month of that time shows about my personal 
appearance. 

"I shall never forget that first case. It was that of a sailor who had stabbed 
the late Charles Richardson. George A. Knight, the then district attorney, prose- 
cuted, and Chamberlain and De Haven defended, while Judge Stafiford held the 
scales of justice. I sat up all that night to transcribe the testimony, because I 
realized that my official tenure in a large measure depended upon the complete- 
ness and accuracy of my first transcript, and the promptness with which it was 
furnished. In those days there were no typewriters, and manifolding was un- 
known. Every bit of transcript or legal writing had to be laboriously done with 
a pen. But I remember that I finished the entire day's proceedings just before 
breakfast the next morning and was complimented on its accuracy by the Court and 
attorneys, and when I take into consideration my lack of experience and the 
want of facilities for quickly doing the work, and the fact that I did it all alone 
in one night, I am free to admit, even now. that I deserved the compliment. The 
case was finished that day by the acquittal of the defendant, and I received $39 
for my services, and when I had the money in my pocket, it is not at all strange 



160 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

that my original capital did not look nearly as lonesome, and I forthwith settled 
my hotel bill and sought cheaper quarters. 

"In regard to this case I might add that the defendant's acquittal was secured 
by Mr. Richardson's not being able to positively identify him as his assailant. 
Chamberlain & De Haven were to receive $300 as their fee, and as the man had 
nothing, they secured him a place to work, and he was to devote a large 
part of his wages each month to paying the debt. When the verdict was ren- 
dered, Mr. Chamberlain jumped to his feet and holding his hand aloft said to 
the jury: 'Gentlemen, a righteous verdict if ever there was one.' But inside of a 
week the defendant skipped on an outgoing vessel, without paying a cent, and 
it was amusing to hear Mr. Chamberlain, when the news was communicated to 
him, calling the defendant everything that a large vocabulary and a practiced 
tongue could call him, and saying that he always knew he was guilty and that 
he ought to have been hung. 

"But to come back to my story. My original intention of returning to 
Berkeley at the expiration of my leave of absence was soon forgotten. I have been 
in the harness ever since, and I do not mind confessing, confidentially, that I have a 
fixed and steadfast purpose to do so some more, and until the infirmities of 
advancing years compel me to cease, provided, always, that I am able to discharge 
my duties to the satisfaction of the bench and bar. 

"I might add, in passing, that I have always endeavored to keep my work 
strictly up to date, and to this end have been continually on the watch for any 
new improvement that would tend to greater efficiency. I brought the first type- 
writer to Humboldt county, and was among the first in the State to adopt its use. 
I was also among the first to appreciate the advantages of the talking machine 
as a labor saver in getting out transcripts, and among the first to successfully use 
them on this coast. I brought the first graphophone to the county and was using 
it in my business even before many of the leading reporters of San Francisco 
adopted it. 

"When I look around me now, and then look back over the years that have 
gone, I am indeed reminded of the mutability of all things earthly. There is 
not a lawyer practicing in the county, or a judge on the bench, who was a lawyer 
or practicing here when I began my official duties. There is not a single official, 
township or municipal, anywhere in the county who was in office when 
I began. Even our late lamented Sherift", T. Brown, who came the nearest to me 
in length of official service, began his first term two years after I came here. I 
know of but one business firm in the county that was in existence at that time, 
and still operated by the same person. The firm name may be the same, but there 
are new people behind the counters. There is only one lumber firm that is 
operating under the same name, and though one of the partners is still alive, he 
aas retired from its management and the other partner is long since dead. 

"Eureka was then a struggling hamlet of about fifteen hundred inhabitants. 
Business was almost exclusively confined to First and Second streets. I do not 
remember a business house of any description above Second street, and most of 
the larger firms were on First street. The streets were not even graveled, and 
it was only the down town streets that had eight-foot board sidewalks. 

"The Court House was an old wooden building where the Hodgson planing 
mill is now, and beside it was a one-story brick structure which was at that time 
the clerk and recorder's office, but now the detention hospital, while the site of 
our present magnificent Court House was a neglected square overgrown with 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 161 

bushes and a few straggling trees, and surrounded by a dilapidated picket fence. 
Only a portion of the county officers had offices in the Court House, the rest being 
scattered around town. As you doubtless remember, the old Court House was 
burned by the supervisors to get rid of it a number of years ago." 

Mr. Strong's narrative is intensely interesting throughout. He gives many 
pen pictures of the men and institutions that were in the public eye during the 
early years of his labor as court reporter in Humboldt county. His story is worth 
liberal quoting and the following extracts from it are submitted : 

"The Eighth Judicial District, as then organized, comprised the counties of 
Humboldt and Del Norte, a term of the Court being held every three months at 
Eureka and at Crescent City. 

"The District Court had jurisdiction of all civil cases involving more than 
$300 and of cases of homicide. The County Court held its sessions every other 
month and had jurisdiction of civil cases on appeal from the justice's courts and 
of all cases of felony outside of murder cases, also all probate business. Of the 
two courts, the County Court had a great deal the most to do. The civil business 
did not amount to much, but the probate business was considerable, and there 
was hardly a term that we did not try from three to ten felony cases. There were 
no banks in those days, and as the woods camps shut down from November to 
March, the woodsmen, flocking in to Eureka with pockets full of money after their 
summer work, attracted here a large number of sports and bad characters gen- 
erally, and the result was a jail full of criminals, nearly always, waiting trial. 
Even with the growth of the county in view, there were three criminal trials then 
to one now. 

"There was no road to Crescent City, and the trail along the beach and over 
the hills near the ocean was long and lonely. I had to go there every three months. 
Sometimes I would accompany the judge on horseback, at other times I went on 
foot by myself, but it was always a hard and lonesome trip, and never very re- 
munerative, and I was heartily glad when upon the adoption of the New Con- 
stitution, the Superior Court was organized and Del Norte county had a court 
of its own. 

"In 1876 there were seven lawyers practicing in Eureka and one in Ferndale, 
and although the number was small, in legal ability the bar at that time ranked 
as high as any in the State, and would compare favorably with San Francisco 
itself. Practicing law in those days was a different thing from what it is today. 
There were no digests or encyclopedias, no West system of reports or annotated 
codes, no references or cross references, and none of the thousand and one labor- 
saving devices that we have today. There were a few volumes of our State reports, 
and these, with a few of the standard text books, constituted the modest library of 
the ordinary practitioner. If I remember right, the forty-ninth volume of Cali- 
fornia reports was just out when I began. Now we have just had the one hundred 
and forty-seventh. 

"The codes had been adopted two years before, and the change of practice 
from the old practice act to the codes had not as yet become entirely settled, and 
many code questions were yet for future decision. If a lawyer had a case to 
prepare or a legal proposition to look up, he had four or five times the work to 
perform that a similar matter would entail nowadays, to say nothing of having to 
write out all his pleadings by hand with a pen, and often to make several copies 
of them in that laborious way. 

10 



162 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

"There were only two fairly well kept up libraries in town, those of S. M. 
Buck and Chamberlain & De Haven, and when any proposition was to be briefed, 
one of these libraries was used. Nowadays the pleadings in an action are entirely 
settled before the trial by demurrers, motions to strike out, etc., but then, those 
questions were disposed of as the trial progressed, and it was no uncommon thing 
to see a whole panel of jurors and two or three dozen witnesses airing themselves 
and swapping yarns on the steps of the old Court House, while the lawyers 
upstairs were pounding the table and threshing out some question of pleading or 
evidence, which would today be settled long before the case was set for trial. 

"Of the bar the unquestioned leader, as well as the oldest member, was the 
late Hon. James Hanna. At the time I first met him he was bordering on his 
sixty-fifth year, a little, slight, white-haired old man, but withal a courteous, 
courtly, old-fashioned gentleman. He was equally at home either as a pleader or 
a trial lawyer. Educated in the technical schools of Pennsylvania, his knowledge 
of legal principles was most profound, and he had the faculty, more or less rare 
among attorneys, of being able almost instantly to correctly apply the law to the 
facts before him. As a trial lawyer I have never seen his equal. As a cross- 
examiner his keen, incisive questioning, his witty side remarks and sarcasm not 
only kept an adverse witness upon the anxious bench, but often turned what 
seemed certain defeat into a victory. I have seen him arguing a case when he 
had the whole audience, jury, bar and all, in tears, and whenever he was scheduled 
for the closing argument in any interesting case, the old court room would be 
crowded to the doors, long before the hour of opening court. He was an honest, 
honorable, upright citizen, his word was as good as his bond, and no antagonist 
ever asked a written stipulation from him when once his word was passed. I 
have often wondered what brought a trained and brilliant mind like his away from 
the courts of the East to settle in a little lumber town like Eureka in the early '60s, 
because he would have been an unquestioned leader anywhere. He has been dead 
for many years. Peace to his memory. 

"Of the remaining lawyers, S. M. Buck and Hon. J. J. De Haven came next. 
They were both comparatively young men at that time, both able lawyers, and 
I hardly need to add generally on opposite sides of a case. Both were relentless 
fighters, and neither would yield an inch while there was a point to stand on. 
I remember one case in particular that they had which well illustrates these quali- 
ties. It was the case of Bohall vs. Dilla. involving the right to a homestead claim 
on Dow's Prairie, perhaps worth $1,000 when the fight began. Bohall located 
the claim and before completing his title leased it to Dilla, who promptly repudiated 
the lease and jumped the claim. They fought the case through the local land office 
and all the way up to the Secretary of the Interior, and then began in the District 
Court and tried and appealed it, reversed it and tried it again a number of times, 
with one or two criminal cases between whiles, growing out of assaults made by 
one party on the other, and it finally wound up in the United States Supreme 
Court sometime in the '80s, where the decision was in Judge De Haven's favor, 
and when it was ended both sides had paid more than the value of the place in 
costs, and the case had run its checkered course some fifteen years. 

"The late S. M. Buck was as able a lawyer as we have had in this State. 
While he could not be called a brilliant orator, he had what we term a legal 
mind to a very marked degree, and he possessed the most untiring industry of any 
lawyer I ever met. He not only thoroughly briefed up his own case, but his 
adversary's, and I never knew him to be caught unprepared in Court. I have seen 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 163 

him frequently win cases which at the start seemed absolutely hopeless. His 
practice was largely along the lines of corporation work, and suits involving large 
interests, and he rarely bothered with small business. He was almost invariably 
on one side or the other of every important case. 

"The firm of Chamberlain & De Haven, which then enjoyed probably the 
largest practice here, was dissolved shortly afterwards, and Judge De Haven 
practiced by himself for a few years, in the office now occupied by George 
D. Murray. He was then elected Superior Judge to succeed Hon. John P. 
Haynes, and before finishing the term was elected to Congress and resigned the 
bench, being succeeded in 1889 by Hon. G. W. Hunter, the present incumbent. 
He was afterward a Justice of the Supreme Court and now United States 
District Judge for the Northern District of California, but I doubt not that often- 
times his memory goes back with pleasure to the little old court room in the old 
Court House, the scene of so many of his early triumphs. 

"J. D. H. Chamberlain's forte was as a trial lawyer, although as a pleader 
and brief writer he was well up in the first rank. As a jury lawyer his services 
were always in demand and he took a leading part in almost every important case 
in early days. He was gifted with a most wonderful command of language, which 
he had increased by wide and varied reading, and he delighted to show it when- 
ever the occasion offered, either in Court or as a story teller. Warm hearted and 
impulsive, he would often say things in the heat of debate which he would regret 
and afterwards make amends for. During the latter years of his life he was in 
partnership with Frank McGowan and C. M. Wheeler, and afterwards practiced 
alone for several years. 

"P. F. Hart was located at Ferndale, which was then a little town of a hun- 
dred people or so. The dairying industry which has so marvelously built up the 
Eel River Valley was not then developed, and as a rule the farmers were poor, 
but Mr. Hart ranked well up with the leaders of the bar in learning and ability 
and did nearly all the legal work in the valley. He was engaged in many im- 
portant cases, civil and criminal, and was an antagonist not to be despised. 

"All the leading civil business at that time was confined to the five I have 
named. George A. Knight was the District Attorney, and was just entering upon 
his second term. Although but a young man, he even then showed those qualities 
which have since made him one of the leading lawyers of the State. He was a 
magnetic orator and an able prosecutor and seldom lost a case. His practice, of 
course, was largely criminal, and he left here, if I remember correctly, in the early 
'80s. It was both interesting and amusing to see him try a criminal case with 
Buck and Hanna or Chamberlain & De Haven for the defense, and often throngs 
would be turned away from the court room through inability to enter, especially 
in the winter time, when the town was full of idle men. 

"The list would not be complete without mentioning the late G. W. Tompkins. 
Mr. Tompkins' practice was largely in the Justice Courts, but he had more than 
he could attend to of that sort of business. Prior to taking up the law he had 
kept a saloon and filled the office of Justice of the Peace, and they used to say 
of him that he would load a man in his saloon and then fine him in his court 
for being drunk. He knew every man, woman and child in the county, and when 
any litigation was started that would require a jury trial he was the first man 
taken into the case on the side that could first secure his services. When it came 
to picking out a jury from a large panel, and then after court adjourned, marshal- 
ing them singly or in twos or threes up to some neighboring bar and between 



164 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

drinks gently insinuating the real facts of his client's case, without appearing to 
do so, there were none that could come anywhere near him. I can see him yet, a 
tall, powerfully huilt man, with a big cane hooked over his arm, the only plug 
hat in the county on his head, and his dog Schneider, like his master, a fighter from 
the ground up, following at his heels. He was of Irish descent, and, as I have 
intimated, a fighter both legally and physically. I think he had more personal 
altercations with the other attorneys than any one else, because once in a case 
his client's wrongs were his own, and he personally resented them. I remember 
once in the assessor's office in the old Court House he had a slight difference of 
opinion with a brother attorney, and to emphasize his argument he picked his 
adversary up and threw him through the window, taking out sash and all. He 
died many years ago. 

"Mr. Swinnerton, whom I have mentioned before, was a newcomer in 
Eureka, and a man of brilliant promise, but an unfortunate social entanglement 
handicapped him as a lawyer and he drifted into journalism. He was an able 
orator and much in demand in political campaigning. He afterwards went to 
Stockton to edit a paper, began practicing law there, and served a term as 
Superior Judge of San Joaquin county. He died in Oakland a number of years ago. 

"Of the early lawyers I shovild also mention E. H. Howard, who probably 
was the earliest member of the bar to settle here, coming, I think, with the first 
party of white people that landed on this bay. He had retired from active practice 
before my time, but served as a Justice of the Peace until some time in the '80s. 
He was a graduate of Harvard, I believe, and had at one time been a partner of 
Justice Stephen J. Fields in San Francisco. 

"During the later '70s and early '80s many new lawyers came to the county. 
Some stayed ; others did not. Of those who first came, I might mention I. F. 
Steck, A.'McKinstry, W. F. Jones, W. H. Brumfield, H. L. Smith, E. W. Risly 
and many others, but it would merely be a catalogue of names, for nearly all 
have either moved away or died years .ago. Many who are at present leaders of 
the bar were admitted to practice long after my advent, and I can remember 
when every one of them first commenced their Blackstone. Of the earliest comers 
after me, I might mention J. H. G. Weaver and Hon. E. W. Wilson. Mr. Weaver, 
I think, came in the summer of 1876 and Judge Wilson in the early part of 1877. 

"In 1895 an additional department of the Superior Court was created, and I 
then took Mrs. Strong into the business as the senior partner of the firm, a state 
of afifairs which has continued ever since, and which I trust will continue while 
I occupy the office. 

"In conclusion, I assure you that the past thirty years, although it slipped 
by so quickly, nevertheless, when I stop to look back at it, is a long time. Only 
two reporters in the State have ever held office as long, and today, so far as I 
know, I have the distinction of being the oldest reporter in length of service on 
the Pacific coast, still holding the same appointment. 

"During the whole of my official tenure I have never kept the Court waiting 
but once, have never been incapacitated from personally attending to my duties 
by sickness but once, have never had a transcript questioned by a member of the 
bar, have never met with anything but kindness and courtesy from them, and 
am confident that each and every one is my friend. 

"While no one realizes better than I that I am surely and certainly approach- 
ing the end of my official career, and that in a few years at most I must give way 
to others, still no matter what I do, or where I am, the memory of our old 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 165 

associations will linger with me long after the newer generation shall have 
forgotten, and I assure you that it is from the bottom of a grateful heart that 
I wish each and all of you peace and prosperity." 

The bench and bar of today has well in hand the business of the bay cities, 
and the members of the fraternity stand high in popular esteem, and among the 
members of the bar elsewhere there is sincere respect for the learning and probity 
of the followers of the great forensic profession in Humboldt county. 

Pioneer Days in Humboldt County 

One of the daughters of the late W. J. Sweasey. a woman of prominence, 
writes as follows : 

The party of which I was a member arrived in Humboldt county in August, 
1855, coming overland from San Francisco, and being the first party that ever 
came across the mountains with wagons and families. About the last of May 
we left San Francisco county, crossed to Benicia and then passed through Napa 
county to Russian river. There was not a settlement between Russian river and 
Humboldt county. We traveled on to Round valley, a beautiful camping place 
where the families stayed while some of the men, including my father, W. J. 
Sweasey* and my brother, Tom Sweasey, went ahead to find a way across the 
mountains. They marked a trail by blazing the trees, then came back and reported 
we could make it, but it would be a very hard trip. We, all being young, did 
not mind hardships and were willing to undertake the journey. 

The families residing here at the time of our arrival had come by water. 
We brought with us a band of cattle and were seeking good pasture. This we 
found in Eel river valley and so determined to settle there. We certainly realized 
that we were pioneers. There were no churches or school houses. 

The families were so few they could easily be remembered. Several of 
them are now living in Eureka. They were Dr. and Mrs. Felt, Mr. and Mrs. 
Burnell, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Sevier, Mr. and Mrs. Stringfield, Mr. and Mrs. 
S. Palmer, Mr. and Mrs. Huling, Mr. and Mrs. Myrick, Mr. Jameson and Mr. 
Showers. In the course of three years the number of families had considerably 
increased ; all, however, coming by water. 

In 1860 we concluded we must have a school house which could be used 
also for a church. So I took a paper and started out to see what I could get 
toward building the house, and was quite successful. Some donated lumber split 
from logs, others shingles, hand made, others money and not a few labor! In 
this way the first school house was built at the foot of the mountain where the 
town of Alton now is. Alton is built on part of the farm Mr. Axton and I 
owned at that time. 

In 1858 a Methodist minister. Rev. Mr. Burton, with his family, arrived in 
Eel river valley. They took passage from wSan Francisco on a sailing vessel and 
were six weeks on the way. The vessel encountered such fierce storms that they 
were unable to cross Humboldt bar the first time they tried, and were compelled 
to return to San Francisco for provisions, and when they finally arrived here 
there was no church, so services were held in the private houses and all attended. 
We looked forward to these meetings with pleasure, as we met all our friends 
and the strangers who were always made welcome, although our accommodations 
were limited. Many a time I have made beds on the floor to try to make them 
comfortable and happy, while myself and family had no bed, but with some 
covers slept on a lounge or any place we could. In pioneer days nothing seemed 
impossible and even with sufiferings and hardships there was much happiness and 



166 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

comfort, for the natural privations taught the lessons of charity, good will, and 
unselfishness, and after all the greatest happiness in life comes from helping others 
and in those days there were constant opportunities for helping each other. 

At this time the Indians were giving the settlers much trouble. One case I 
remember as if it were yesterday, that was when the Indians attacked one of 
our neighbor's (Mrs. Johnston's) little girl and an Indian girl that the family 
had raised. They were picking blackberries a short distance from the house 
when the Indians began shooting arrows at them. The Indian girl ran away 
to the house, but the other little girl they knocked down and dragged a long way. 
The news spread like wild fire, and in a short time every man was getting ready 
to pursue the Indians and find the little girl. The men started for the hunt well 
armed. We women, Mrs. Zane, and all the neighbors, went to Mrs. Johnston's 
home for safety, to care for one another and to provide for the men as they 
came in, as we were uncertain what condition they might be in. About daylight, 
after hunting all night, they found the child. The Indians had not shot her, but 
had struck her head with a rock and threw rocks on her and left her for dead. 
She had lain in that condition all night and was nearly dead. As soon as the men 
gave the signal and fired the gun she moved and Mr. Axton gave loud shouts of joy, 
in which many of the men joined, to think she was alive. They picked her up 
and carried her home. Then we found that we needed one another. We com- 
menced bathing her with warm water, but she could not stand that, so we took 
cold water and kept rubbing her with warm flannels until the blood began to 
circulate. When we began she was purple and badly swollen. She got well, how- 
ever, and is still living and I understand is married and living in Oregon. 

The Indians got out of the way and did no more damage at that time. 



CHAPTER XXn. 

The Eureka Free Library 
By H. A. Kendal 

The first successful efifort to maintain a public reading room in Eureka 
originated among the members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In response 
to a call of the pastor. Rev. Dr. Haswell. twenty members of the congregation 
agreed to subscribe $1 each per month for that purpose. The movement met 
with a hearty response from the people in general. 

Fifty or more people met in the Methodist church on Wednesday evening, 
February 13, 1878, for the purpose of establishing a library and reading room 
in the city. The secretary's report of this meeting makes mention of a previous 
meeting, when a constitution was adopted and provision made for raising money 
by subscriptions. This was the first meeting of the kind of which we have any 
written record. 

J. J. De Haven, who later rose to prominence in the judicial field, was chosen 
president; Mrs. W. W. Taylor, vice-president; J. H. Kimball, secretary and 
librarian, and Fred Axe, treasurer. Fifty votes were cast for president, of which 
Mr. De Haven received twenty-six. The organization which they then formed 
was called the Eureka Library Association. Other names connected with the 
earlier meetings of the association are : S. Cooper, H. Axton, G. C. Sarvis, H. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 167 

Sevier, N. Bullock, Mr. Haswell, C. W. Long, J. W. Freese, G. R. Knott, Mrs. 
J. E. Wyman, Dr. Cabanis, E. A. Rice, Mrs. J. H. D. Chamberlain, J. B. Brown, 
C. C. Strong and A. J. Monroe. 

The library and reading room were opened in the Jones building, corner of 
Third and F streets. The dedication ceremonies took place in the library rooms 
on the evening of March 25, 1878, Rev. Dr. Haswell delivering a very eloquent 
address, besides which remarks were made by Reverends Githens and Brier. A 
volunteer choir and the Eureka comet band furnished music for the dedication. 
The meeting, so the secretary records, adjourned in peace and harmony. 

The last meeting of the Eureka Library Association was held April 30, 1878, 
after a very useful life of three months' duration. The whole amount of money 
received by the treasurer from all sources amounted to $352, a sum which speaks 
well for the enterprise and generosity of the people of that early period. A 
tax "amply sufficient" had by this time been levied by the city for library and 
reading room purposes. A resolution of thanks was voted to the Eureka Amateur 
Dramatic Club for a generous donation. All the property of the association was 
turned over to the appointed trustees of the city free library, with all debts paid, 
and a committee was appointed to deliver the property to the new board. 

The common council at the meeting of May 11, 1878, appointed the first 
board of library trustees, which consisted of ■]. J. De Haven, J. H. Kimball, Fred 
Axe, Mrs. J. E. Wyman. Mrs. Taylor and S. Cooper. Mr. De Haven was chosen 
president, and Mr. Cooper secretary. Spencer Purser was recommended for 
librarian and duly appointed. The salary of the librarian was fixed at $25 per 
month. The library was to be kept open every day from 9 a. m. to 10 p. m. The 
librarian, after a few months' service, was commended for faithful attention to 
the duties of his office, and further rewarded by an increase of salary to $1 per day. 

An official report of the library trustees to the city council at the end of the 
first eleven months of the city free library shows that the library then consisted 
of 541 volumes. The old Humboldt library furnished 306 volumes, five volumes 
were loaned by the city school trustees, five volumes were gifts and 225 volumes 
had been added by purchase. 

The circulation for the first eleven months was 4563 books, of which 3264 
books, or seventy-one per cent of the whole circulation, were novels. Reports 
of the library at the present time show that the proportion of fiction to all other 
books taken by patrons is about fifty-one per cent. This change is no doubt due 
in large measure to the fact that a greater variety as well as a greater number 
of interesting non-fiction books are now to be had. 

The financial statement for the same period shows that $196.36, of the 
annual income of $1177.36. was spent for books. The library throughout its 
history has not varied greatly from the above proportion of service to expense. 
The large investment for buildings, grounds and running expenses which a free 
library implies would justify a greater outlay for service. The usefulness of a 
public library is largely determined by the amount of working capital above the 
necessary running expenses. 

The library remained in the Jones building until March 1, 1883, when it was 
removed to the Ricks building on Third street. Here it remained until 1890, 
when it was again moved, this time to the Gibbard building, on the corner of 
Third and H streets. It was moved from the Gibbard building to its present home 
October 1, 1904. 



168 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

The records show that Spencer Purser resigned his position as hbrarian to 
take effect May 1, 1883. J. F. Taylor was his successor. M. W. Stringfield was 
appointed hbrarian on August 6, 1884. Mr. Stringfield brought to his duties the 
qualification of experience and special training. He had served an apprenticeship 
in library technology under John Vance Cheney, the poet. He had also served in 
the branch libraries of San Francisco, under Horace Davis. Patrons of the 
library during Mr. Stringfield's term have many pleasant recollections of the old 
library and his accommodating service. Mr. Stringfield quit the library April 
30, 1898, for more healthful occupation. 

Capt. W. G. Bonner succeeded Mr. Stringfield. Captain Bonner is well 
known in Eureka as a gentleman of high culture, an ardent lover of art, music 
and literature. During the period of his service several marked changes took 
place. The library was moved from the Gibbard building into its present location. 
The Brown charging system was introduced, the same being in use in this library 
at the present time. The card catalogue system, used now in libraries throughout 
the country, was started by Miss Bertha Kumli of the California State library. 

Captain Bonner retired from the library in December, 1911, after nearly 
fourteen years of service, and the author of this sketch answered the call to the 
library service. 

Miss Grace Cochrane, now Mrs. Edgar Stern, became assistant librarian at 
the time of the removal to the new building. Her successors in office in the order 
mentioned are Miss Grace Brown (now Mrs. Fred Tibbits), Miss Anna B. 
Woodcock, Miss Addie Coffin and Miss Edna Dinsmore. Alexander Rankin 
was appointed janitor of the new library, and after his retirement he was suc- 
ceeded by Andrew P. McLean. 

The active movement for the new Carnegie building started in 1901. when 
the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce through its secretary sent the following 
appeal to Andrew Carnegie, at that time in Scotland : 

Eureka; Calif., Aug. 16, 1901. 
Andrew Carnegie, LL. D. 

Dear Sir: — The Chamber of Commerce at Eureka, Humboldt county, Cali- 
fornia, would respectfully submit to your consideration the city of Eureka as a 
place that would be greatly benefited by becoming a sharer in your noble benefac- 
tions in the shape of a new library building. 

This city now expends $1,800 annually in supporting a free library in rented 
quarters, and this amount would be increased to $2,000 or $2,500 without becom- 
ing too heavy a burden. If you would generously donate $20,000 or $25,000 for 
a building there is no doubt that the proper percentage for its support would 
be readily guaranteed. 

Eureka is a permanent city of 7,500 inhabitants; its growth has been sure 
and steady, the additions being mainly from Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine and 
Canada, with a sprinkling of Scandinavians, but with very few south of Europe 
people. It has never had a boom or a set-back and is surrounded by a region 
of so great natural resources that, combined with its location on the only land- 
locked harbor of any importance between San Francisco and the Columbia river, 
its permanence is established beyond any question. 

Within the last ten years the United States Government has expended two 
millions of dollars in improvement work on its harbor and entrance thereto, and 
this shows the importance attached to this port by the Government. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 169 

Our leading industries are lumbering, dairying, stock-raising and general 
agriculture, and the statement of exports from this place enclosed herein will 
show the relative importance of each. There is no better soil anywhere. Crop 
failures are tmknown and the climate is the most uniform of any place in the 
United States. 

Owing to the long stretch of rough territory between, Eureka has not been 
connected with the outside world by rail, but the California & Northern Railroad 
is being built from the north, while the California & Northwestern Railroad 
is being built towards Eureka from the south. Hence it can only be a few years 
until our city is connected by rail both with the north and the south, and when 
that is done the short haul to deep water from all northern California and southern 
Oregon will be to this port. 

We have asked our senator, Hon. George C. Perkins, to kindly add such 
endorsement to this appeal as he may judge right and to forward the same with 
this communication. 

Hoping for a favorable response, and confident that there are few places 
where your generosity would be more useful or more appreciated than in 
Eureka, we remain, Yours respectfully, 

HUMBOLDT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. 

By GEORGE W. KELLOGG, Secretary. 

The following reply to the foregoing letter was promptly received : 

Skibo Castle, Ardgay, N. B. 
Mr. George A. Kellogg, Esq. 
Eureka, California. 

Dear Sir: — Yours of August 16th received through Senator Perkins. 

If Eureka will provide a suitable site and pledge $2,000 a year for support 
of library, Mr. Carnegie will be glad to give $20,000 to erect a Free Public Library 
building. Respectfully yours, 

J. A. BERTRAM, Private Secretary. 

A subscription was started among the citizens of Eureka immediately after 
the receipt of this message. The subscriptions netted, when paid in, the sum of 
$8,125. Out of this fund the present site was bought for $5,700. The building 
was planned by Knowles Evans and B. C. Tarver, architects of this city. Ambrose 
N. Foster, also of this city, was awarded the contract for the erection of the 
building on a bid of $20,841.75, the work to begin August 1, 1902. The work 
was delayed of completion until the autumn of 1904. Supplementary agreements 
were added to the original contract, for red brick, for steps of Mad river granite, 
mosaic tiling and other items. 

The reading public is indebted to the late John H. Gyselaar for a very sub- 
stantial gift. Mr. Gyselaar died in 1908, leaving to the library a bequest that 
amounted to $529.85. 

The public owes a debt of gratitude to the many men and women who have 
given their time and attention unselfishly to the service of the library on the board 
of trustees. We cannot take account of the stormy evenings on which they have 
attended trustees meetings, nor of the routine of nearly forty years. It is alto- 
gether fitting to mention a few of the older ones of the older times. Among 
those not previously mentioned in this account are : D. P. Campbell, H. A. Clen- 
denen, Emma C. Lyon, L. J. Marshall, Miss M. A. Duggan, Miss M. J. C. 
Thompson, Judge J. P. Haines, Charles Armstrong, Frank McGowan, Dr. E. W. 
Wells, Mary A. Carr, Daniel Halloran, Judge C. G. Stafford, Emma S. Young, 



170 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

J. M. Brand, David Mcx^dam, C. C. Marshall, Charles Fiebig, Mrs. J. W. Connick, 
E. Sevier, G. H. Close, John S. Murray, W. H. Brumfield, J. G. Murray, Dr. 
S. B. Davis, R. W. Rideout, C. F. Roberts and W. H. Johnston. 

The trustees at the present time are : Mrs. E. E. Reedman, Mrs. Emma J. 
McKay, Mrs. Henry Irons, Mrs. Ira B. Thompson and Olcott Cummings. 

During the year 1914-15 a new heating system has been completed, the entire 
roof has been relaid. the wood-work painted, the walls papered in tasteful tints 
and new linoleum placed upon the reading room floors. 

The library now has about 8,300 volumes, besides about 3,000 volumes and 
many serviceable bulletins in the United States Government depository, this 
being one of the libraries designated by the Government for the purpose. The 
circulation now reaches over 4,000 prints per month. The income of the library 
for the present year, beginning July 1, 1914, amounts to $6,100. 

A free library has recently been established for Humboldt county, and the 
central office of the county free library is located in the Eureka Free Library 
building. 



CHAPTER XXIIL 
How the Fifth Division, U. S. Naval Militia, Came Into Existence. 

By A. B. Adams 

On the 30th day of December, 1878, a meeting was held in the old City Hall 
on Third street in the city of Eureka, pursuant to published notice, for the 
purpose of organizing a military company. The meeting was called to order by 
Alexander Campbell, who stated the object of the gathering. John A. Watson 
was chosen chairman and W. C. Stewart secretary. At a meeting held January 
9, 1879, committees on by-laws and organization were appointed, after which the 
meeting adjourned until March 15. 1879. Chairman Watson then introduced 
Major Pierce H. Ryan, who had been appointed by the Adjutant General to 
conduct the organization of the Eureka Guard. The roll was called and the 
following members were present : 

John A. Watson, George Dean, John L. Crichton, F. H. Wunderlich, Jr., 
A. P. Flagor, William P. Hanna,* S. W. Freese, A. J. iWiley, C. E. Le Grange, 
Richard Sweasey,* W. Sweasey, A. M. Delamore, Louis Pearsons*, Ed Ruscoe,* 
Charles E. Long, John Hetherington, C. G. Taylor, W. E. Stewart, Alex Camp- 
bell, J. Simpson,* James T. Keleher,* H. H. Buhne, Jr.,* James G. D. Crichton, 
Charles E. Hasty, Peter Belcher,* Thomas H. Chope,* James E. Mathews,* A. 
Winzler, M. Barman, C. G. Lundblade,* John A. Livingston,* Edward Everding, 
James B. Brown,* David Cutten,* C. S. Ricks, William P. Pratt,* T. W. Holland, 
W. K. Strong,* F. A. Lewitt, J. H. G. Weaver,* J. P. Monroe,* J. S. Gibson, 
J. P. Hopkins, T. B. Cutler,* J. H. G. Hansel, A. W. Anderson, Norman Howard, 
Thomas Chope, Jr.,* Edward Grant, C. Rose,* C. Frank Gardner,* A. D. Mac- 
Donald, T. D. Rees, R. W. Rideout, Alex Connick,* J. W. Freese, C. E. Wunder- 
lich, R. B. Dickson, J. W. Appleby, Cornelius McElvoy, W. H. Bull, W. F. 
Brown, S. H. Butterfield, J. Ballard,* W. L. Walker, A. J. Monroe,* W. W. 
Turner, who were duly sworn in as members of the Eureka Guard, thus forming 
a company of the National Guard of California. 

*StilI living. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 171 

Major Ryan announced that the first business was the election of a captain, 
first Heutenant and second lieutenant. Ballots were accordingly cast with the 
following results : Alexander Campbell, captain ; James B. Brown, first lieu- 
tenant, and W. P. Hanna, second lieutenant. 

Upon the organization of Areata Guard the two companies were thrown 
into a battalion formation and known as the Tenth Infantry Battalion ; Eureka 
Guard as Company A, and Areata Guard as Company B. J. D. H. Chamberlain 
was elected major and upon the expiration of his commission J. L. Crichton 
was elected. 

Upon the re-organization of the State Militia Company B was mustered out, 
thus breaking up the battalion formation. Company A remaining in the service. 

On February 19, 1896, Company A, N. G. C, was transferred to the Fifth 
Division, N. M. C, with the following officers: D. J. Foley, lieutenant; Charles 
V. Otto, lieutenant junior grade; Edward McLaughlin and Charles P. Smith, 
ensigns. 

Since 1879, March 15th has been observed as the anniversary of the organ- 
ization by appropriate ceremonies in the Armory during the day and a grand 
ball in the evening. 

The present officers of the division are : Lieut. Adolph B. Adams, com- 
manding; W. E. Torrey, lieutenant junior grade; twelve petty officers and fifty- 
five seamen. The division is fully equipped with all necessary articles to go 
aboard ship for active service. The men are instructed in drills and gunnery 
practice, having mounted in their armory one ten-ton four-inch gun, a three- 
pounder, a one-pounder and a gatling gun. Each year the division goes to sea 
on the U. S. S. Marblehead for summer cruise and target practice. This vessel 
is manned entirely by naval militia men of California, and the Eureka division 
has attained a splendid proficiency at big gun target practice. The division has 
a good rating, which speaks well for its officers and men. 




//t^^aric J^aap^c^ ^a 



Sna 3:^S^U{/AaTt3 ^^ra J^V 




BIOGRAPHICAL 



ALEXANDER BRIZARD.— The history of the growth of the great 
establishment of A. Brizard, Inc., from the small store opened during 1863 
in Areata (originally known as Union Town) to the institution now receiv- 
ing patronage from every community in the northern portion of Humboldt 
county, is the history of the man whose name it bears and who as its founder 
laid the basis of the business wisely and well, while as its proprietor for 
more than forty years he developed its trade with courage and efficiency. 
Descended from an old French famil}^ and himself a native of France, born 
in Bordeaux March 17, 1839, he knew practically nothing of his native land 
by actual experience or childhood recollections, for in 1843 he was taken to 
Peru, South America, by his parents and there he lived for six years, mean- 
while learning Spanish in school and French at home. His father, Capt. Paul 
Theodore Brizard, a sea captain fond of adventure, engaged in the trans- 
portation business between Lima and Callao until news came concerning the 
discovery of gold in California, at which time he immediately left South 
America for San Francisco and embarked in the transportation business be- 
tween that city and Sacramento. September 25, 1849, he was joined by his 
wife with their ten-year old son and infant daughter. The family estab- 
lished a home in the midst of the turbulent conditions then existing in San 
Francisco and the son was at once sent as a pupil to the first Protestant 
school in the state, a small institution established by Rev. James S. Ver Mehr. 

As early as June of 1850 Capt. Brizard came to Humboldt county and 
decided to locate at what is now Areata, where the family joined him in 
August, occupying a portable house which he had brought from Peru and 
which in later years was regarded as one of the landmarks of Areata. Being 
of an adventurous spirit the Captain was not satisfied to locate permanently 
in an isolated region while there existed in his mind any hope of success in 
the finding of gold. Leaving his wife and small daughter in Humboldt county 
he took his son, Alexander, to the mines on Trinity river, where for three 
years they endured the privations and hardships incident to such an expe- 
rience. Many comforts to which they had been accustomed could not be 
bought at any price, while flour sold as high as seventy-five cents a pound and 
other necessities were equally expensive. In the midst of such conditions the 
younger member of the family learned to do the humblest tasks and do them 
well. As they found no fortune in the mines, he turned his hand to any 
work that ofifered an honest livelihood. If riding the bell-animal of a pack 
train was the best thing that offered, he took the job and did it to the very 
best of his strength and ability. In that way he learned lessons far more 
valuable to him than the chance finding of gold would have been. On return- 
ing to Areata he took up school studies, which were interspersed with occupa- 
tive duties contributing to his support. During the summer of 1858 a young 
Hollander named Van Rossum introduced him to his employer, the head of 
the firm of Roskill & Co., and the result of the interview was an offer of a 
clerkship in the Areata store. 



176 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

As a clerk xA.lexander Brizard at once proved his value. It proved to be 
the thing for which he was best qualified by natural endowments. Business 
capacity quickly developed. Working- conscientiously in the interests of his 
employer, giving his entire time and thought to the upbuilding of the busi- 
ness, he rose in the estimation of all, and with the recognition of his value 
came increase in salary. With the passing of time there came new oppor- 
tunities to him. The firm of Roskill & Co. retired from business. Their prin- 
cipal competitors, the firm of Spencer, Manheim & Stern, secured the ser- 
vices of Mr. Brizard and his friend and co-worker. Within a few years, 
owing to the death of one of the partners, the firm was dissolved, which gave 
an opportunity for the two clerks to embark in business. The Humboldt 
Times of June 20, 1863, contained the following item : "New firm : In our 
advertising columns today will be found the business bow of our young 
friends, Alexander Brizard and J- A. C. Van Rossum, of Areata. They have 
opened business at the old stand of Spencer, Manheim & Stern, and if expe- 
rience, ability, close attention to business and honesty are any guarantee, 
we predict for them success." An old account-book kept by Mr. Brizard 
shows that the partnership was formed June 8, 1863, for the purpose of con- 
ducting a general grocery and dry goods business, with an investment of 
$693.70 cash by Mr. Brizard and of $1447 by Mr. Van Rossum, who notwith- 
standing his heavier investment offered to share alike in gains and losses. 
As the business showed gains instead of losses, this ofifer was most helpful 
to the younger member of the firm. During 1865 they purchased the business 
of William Codington, successor to the pioneer firm of Bowles & Codington. 
The retirement of Mr. Van Rossum in 1870 threw the burden of the business 
exclusively on the younger partner, who became sole owner. With charac- 
teristic enterprise he established branch stores at Hoopa, Weitchpec, Orleans 
and Somes Bar. Soon after this, in January, 1871, he was united in marriage 
with Miss Margaret Henry, the ceremony being performed in Areata by Rev. 
J. S. Todd. Mrs. Brizard is the daughter of William and Mary (Nixon) 
Henry, natives of New York and Pennsylvania, respectively, and the grand- 
daughter of Isaac Nixon, who was a California pioneer. Mrs. Brizard was 
born near Winchester, Iowa, and in 1863 accompanied her parents across 
the plains to Areata, Humboldt county. 

Just when the outlook was most favorable and the future had every 
promise of gratifying growth, a fire destroyed a large part of the village of 
Areata and the Brizard store with its contents became only a memory. There 
being no insurance, Mr. Brizard found himself worse than penniless, for his 
assets had gone in the fire and only his liabilities remained. At this dark 
period of his life his creditors proved his best friends. They promised him 
further credit and urged him to return to business, believing that by this 
step he could reimburse them fully in the course of some years. This he did, 
although it required many years to regain his financial footing. Customers 
of the old store stood by him in his new undertaking and the business grew 
so rapidly that four years after the fire he had to seek larger quarters. The 
store was then moved to its present site, where a building constructed of 
stone from the Jacoby creek quarry offered ample facilities for the expand- 
ing trade. During 1879 Mr. Brizard purchased the building and the ground 
upon which it stood. As the years went by the business grew beyond the 
most sanguine hopes of its proprietor in the early period of his connection 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 177 

therewith. Eventually he decided to incorporate. Papers were taken out in 
April, 1904, and in May of the same year Mr. Brizard passed away, leaving 
to his widow and three sons, Paul A., M. Brousse and Henry F., the legacy 
of one of the largest and most substantial organizations in northern California, 
but leaving to them a heritage even more to be desired, the memory of a 
life devoted to the principles of truth and honor. 

CHARLES H. WRIGHT.— For a number of years Charles H. Wright, of 
Eureka, had the distinction of being "the F street jeweler," having been the 
first man in his line of trade to become established in business on that street, 
where practically all the jewelry concerns of the town are now to be found. 
The beautiful store into which the business was recently moved is but a few 
doors from his old location. Mr. Wright's success in building up a large 
trade entitles him to recognition as a merchant of substantial qualities, but 
he is also a skilled workman and a scientific optician, his attainments in 
both lines having contributed materially to his popularity and proved valuable 
factors in attracting patronage. Besides looking after his own affairs he has 
done public-spirited work in the cause of Eureka's development along modern 
lines, his name appearing in the membership of most of the organizations 
which have come into existence for that purpose. 

Mr. Wright was born September 6, 1864, at Almont. Mich., and grew up 
in his native state, in his early boyhood enjoying common school advantages, 
but he has had to make his own way in the world since he was eleven years 
old. When a boy of fifteen he commenced to learn the jeweler's trade at 
Saginaw, Mich., where he served an apprenticeship of three years with Brown 
& Ward, after which he went into business on his own account at St. Clair, 
Mich. Being obliged to do work of a varied nature, he became an expert 
engraver and watch repairer. After some time at that location he began to 
look about for one that promised more in the way of development. He had a 
fine ofifer to go to Sitka, Alaska, but he finally decided to settle at Martinez, 
Contra Costa county, Cal., where he did a successful business for a period of 
four years. In 1890 he came thence to Eureka, Humboldt county, and at once 
opened a jewelry business on F street — for several years the only place of 
the kind on that street. For about fifteen years he had a store at No. 209, in 
December, 1913, removing thence to his present site. No. 217. He has a com- 
modious store, specially appointed for the requirements of the trade and 
skillfully arranged both for the display of goods and the care of the large 
and complete stock, which is valued at $40,000. It includes a fine assortment 
of jewelry, watches, diamonds and silverware, Mr. Wright's superior taste 
in the selection of goods drawing patronage from the most fastidious element 
in Eureka and the surrounding territory. Twenty-six years ago he took up 
the study of optics, and he has become an expert optician, his thoroughness 
in examination of the eyes and skillful adjustment of glasses winning a 
reputation for reliability which has never been shaken by any negligence on 
his part. 

Mr. Wright is very optimistic in his faith in the future of Eureka, and he 
has imparted something of his enthusiasm to many of his fellow townsmen, 
who cannot doubt his sincerity in the light of the efiforts he has made to 
realize some of the possibilities of the town. A mere mention of his associa- 
tions will serve to show how broad are his sympathies and how ready he 
has been to support all worthy movements. He is a member of the Eureka 



178 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Development Association, was one of the original members of the Humboldt 
Club, was a charter member of the Humboldt Wheelmen, and belongs to the 
Chamber of Commerce, the Humboldt Promotion Club and the Benevolent 
Protective Order of Elks, being a charter member of Eureka Lodge No. 652 

of the last named. He is also a member and vestryman of the Episcopal 
Church, and politically is identified with the Republican party. His pleasant 
personality accounts for his popularity and the spirit of friendliness which 
he attracts wherever he goes, while his many substantial qualities hold the 
esteem of even the most conservative. 

In 1889, while residing at Martinez, Cal., Mr. Wright was married to 
Miss Cora B. Hough, a native daughter, whose parents came across the plains 
in the year 1852. They have a fine residence at No. 1230 H street, which 
Mr. Wright built in 1906. Their only child, Carl J., graduated from the 
Eureka high school as a member of the class of 1914, and is now studying the 
jewelry business in all its details under his father. 

WILLARD O. McCANN.— The vice-president and general manager of 
the Eureka Paving Company has been identified with Humboldt county ever 
since 1869 when, a youth of seventeen years, he came across the country with 
a party of friends, traveling on one of the very first trains that brought 
passengers to California after the completion of the transcontinental railroad. 
Prior to that memorable trip he had lived on a farm in New Brunswick, where 
he was born, directly across the St. Croix river from Calais, Me. A small 
population and few business enterprises made the earning of a livelihood 
difficult and the opportunities few, hence he was led to seek the larger advan- 
tages of the undeveloped west. With the arrival of the train in San Francisco 
he proceeded to make arrangements for the voyage to Eureka, to which point 
only two trips a month were then made via water. The famous old steamer, 
Pelican, brought him to the landing place at Eureka and thus was started 
his long identification with Humboldt county, where he is now one of the 
most honored and capable business men. 

An initial experience with the logging camps and the lumber woods was 
followed by changes which gradually gave Mr. McCann an excellent delivery 
wagon service and a substantial teaming business in Eureka, where for two 
years he also conducted a livery barn. As early as 1893 he first established 
the business of the Eureka Paving Company, which paved three blocks in 
this city, but did no further work in that line until 1900. On resuming opera- 
tions in street paving Mr. McCann filled a number of important contracts in 
his home town, where all of the paving done up to the present date represents 
his own efficient and conscientious work. During 1908 his company filled a 
contract for a large amount of street paving in Oregon at Marshfield, while 
during 1913 he had charge of the paving of a number of streets in Ferndale, 
Humboldt county. Since 1872 he has been connected with the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows at Eureka and has contributed to the work and pro- 
moted the welfare of the local lodge. By his marriage to Miss Mellie Mc- 
Farland he is the father of one daughter, Virdie, and two sons, George and 
Joseph, all natives of Humboldt county and educated in its schools. The 
elder son married Miss Seeley, while the daughter is the wife of Fred Watson 
and the mother of two children. 




v^i'.-V--^^ ^.'i-s'^-a^^r^^ 



yv ^^ /'^r^'T^'^-ns ^^/v' J\n< 




Ji^^J^ 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 181 

JOHN M. VANCE.— The late John M. Vance, of Eureka, at the time of 
his death the president of the Humboldt County Bank, became a resident of 
the county the year before he reached his majority, and it was the scene of 
his remarkable success, for in the management of extensive railroad, timber 
and milling interests he proved himself equal to unlimited responsibilities. 
He attained a position among the most prosperous business men in this 
region, yet he always retained his reputation as a citizen whose operations 
were of value to the community, opening up possibilities in various lines of 
industry and trade which have enriched all this section. As a banker and 
general business man his activities led him into varied enterprises, which 
brought out his versatility and developed a degree of judgment uncommon 
even among the well experienced. 

Air. Vance was a Canadian by birth, and came to California with his 
parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Vance, in the year 1865. They died a number 
of years ago, as did also his uncle, John Vance. John M. Vance was born 
January 4, 1845, at Chipman, Queens county. New Brunswick. After coming 
to Humboldt county he learned the trade of millwright, at which he was 
employed for a number of years, acquiring a familiarity with the practical 
side of the work which aided him greatly in his later responsibilities. In 
partnership with his brother-in-law, Thomas Baird, he carried on a commis- 
sion and shipping business for some time, and then became superintendent 
in the mechanical department of the Dolbeer & Carson lumber mill. His 
superior qualities and earnest application to his duties won the confidence 
of his uncle to such an extent that during his last illness, in 1892, John Vance 
sent for his nephew and intrusted him with the management of his vast 
railroad, timber and milling operations. Though his duties were many he 
set about the rather stupendous task of mastering their details, familiarizing 
himself with his uncle's plans for the extension and development of the 
various interests involved, and had early opportunity for testing the prac- 
ticability of his ideas. He carried the extension of the Mad River railroad 
into the heart of the immense tract of redwood timber which formerly was 
owned by Charles King, and for about two years gave his time principally 
to extensive logging and milling operations there, also during that period 
having supervision of the mechanical and operative departments of the two 
sawmills belonging to the estate, at Eureka and on Mad river. Other branches 
of the management of the large property demanded his attention from time 
to time, but he proved competent to meet their requirements, showing aston- 
ishing executive ability in the performance of his work. He enlarged and 
remodeled the plants as needed, and in every respect showed himself worthy 
of the trust reposed in him. 

Prior to his uncle's death Mr. Vance received from him, by deed of gift, 
the controlling stock in the Eel River & Eureka Railroad Company, and at 
the election following he was chosen a member of its board of directors and 
elected to the presidency to succeed his uncle. He continued to perform the 
duties of that office, managing the road with his customary talent for such 
responsibility, until he sold it in the spring of 1903 to the Santa Fe Railway 
Company, receiving a price satisfactory to his fellow stockholders. A number 
of years before his death Mr. Vance became a stockholder and director of 
the Humboldt County Bank, and on January 1, 1904, succeeded J. W. Hender- 
son as president of that financial institution, continuing to serve in that 



182 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

office until his resignation in 1906. His demise occurred at his home May 
31, 1907. 

Although he may have had an exceptional start because of his uncle's 
interest and appreciation of his substantial qualities, Mr. Vance could neither 
have gained nor held the high position he held without rare ability and 
strength of intellect, as well as exceptional capacity for continued exertion. 
He could see and comprehend a situation far in advance of the average man, 
and was not afraid to act on his judgment when it appeared he had nothing 
else to justify his conduct. He had a keen sense of the true meaning of 
progress, as he showed in his support of local enterprises. Though he made 
considerabte because of the rise of real estate values throughout the county, 
as well as by judicious investments, he never regarded his large means from 
a purely selfish standpoint, but used them to further various movements 
which would confer benefits on his fellows as well as himself, and he was 
justly looked upon as a man of public spirit and generous disposition. 
Churches and religious enterprises generally profited by his interest and 
sympathy. He was an Odd Fellow in fraternal connection, belonging to 
Humboldt Lodge No. 77 , of Eureka, in w^hich he passed all the chairs. 
Politically he was a Republican. It is to such men as Mr. Vance that Hum- 
boldt county owes much of its development and present prosperity, for by 
his optimism he always endeavored to build up its industries and by his 
public spirit and liberality gave of time and means to enhance the condition 
of the community, not only commercially, but socially, religiously and 
morally. He was a truly good man, and his death was a distinct loss not only 
to his family and friends, but to the people of the whole county. 

Mr. Vance was married in San Francisco, March 11, 1871, to Miss Sarah 
Jannie Babbitt, who like himself was a native of Chipman, New Brunswick, 
daughter of Harry and Louisa (Chase) Babbitt, both natives of New Bruns- 
wick, but of English descent. Mr. Babbitt was a merchant and postmaster 
at Chipman. Mrs. Vance was educated in private schools at Gagetown, New 
Brunswick. In 1866 she came to San Francisco with an uncle and aunt, Mr. 
and Mrs. Jacob White, with whom she resided until her marriage to Mr. 
Vance. Of this union were born four children, as follows : Ida L., who be- 
came the wife of Fred C. Hauck and died in Eureka; Etta L. ; Harry P., 
manager of the Vance estate ; and Carlotta, Mrs. Lester W. Hink, of Berkeley. 
Since the death of her husband Mrs. Vance has continued to make her home 
at the family residence, continuing also to look after his interests. 

CHARLES WILLARD HITCHINGS.— Practically all of the adult 
experiences of Mr. Hitchings, who is a native of Washington county, Me., and 
a pioneer of March, 1875, in Humboldt county, have been associated with 
logging camps and the lumber industry, in which he has gained such a widely 
extended reputation for expert knowledge that his opinion is frequently 
sought in determining the valuations of timber claims. It is natural that he 
should be an expert woodsman, for he has been familiar with lumber camps 
almost from his earliest recollections and as a boy he became skilled in the 
use of the axe in the great Maine forests. At the age of twenty-one he left 
home and went to Pennsylvania, where he remained for two years, working 
in the lumber woods of Elk and Clearfield counties. Since his arrival in 
Humboldt county, during the spring of 1875, he has devoted his entire time to 
the luiTiber industry in one or another of its varied departments. For a time 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 183 

he was employed by John Smith on Elk river. At different times he has 
engaged as foreman or superintendent for the lumber firms prominently con- 
nected with local industrial affairs, viz. : The John Vance Company, the 
Dolbeer-Carson Company, the Pacific Lumber Company and the Hammond 
Lumber Company. Since 1910 he has been retained as timber cruiser for 
numerous private individuals as well as for a number of the leading lumber 
concerns of the county, where he is regarded as an expert in the valuation 
of trees and of timber claims. 

At the time of coming west Mr. Hitchings was unmarried and some years 
after settling in Humboldt county he married Miss Alice Christie, who was 
born and reared here and is a member of a pioneer family of prominence. 
While giving his attention very closely to work in the timber industry he 
has identified himself also with numerous movements for the upbuilding of 
the county, has taken a praiseworthy interest in local projects of importance 
and has been actively connected with the Humboldt Club, besides being a 
member of local lodges of ?\Tasons and Odd Fellows. 

CHRISTOPHER LUTHER.— There are few men now living in Hum- 
boldt county whose arrival here antedated that of Mr. Luther, an honored 
pioneer, well known for the sterling qualities of mind and heart that win and 
retain the confidence of associates, and especially prominent in Humboldt 
Lodge \o. 77, L O. O. F., through the fact that he is one of the oldest 
surviving members affiliated with the organization. In the years of his 
personal contribution to the upbuilding of the county he has witnessed many 
changes. A new generation has come into the place of his activities and is 
reaping the fruits of his self-sacrificing pioneer labors. Into the place where 
for years he stood giving courteous attention to the customers that regularly 
traded at the market, a son has now come, taking up the duties that the 
elder man had discharged for fort3^-three consecutive years prior to his retire- 
ment in 1902. His life, as it has been ordered, has contained its share of 
hardship, privation and discouragement, but he has borne whatever came to 
him with simple courage and quiet dignity, as a brave man does, seldom 
giving voice to any word except of good cheer and optimism, and invariably 
hopeful concerning the future prosperity of his chosen home town and county. 

When six years of age Christopher Luther was brought from his native 
Switzerland to the United States by his parents, who settled near Galena, 111., 
so that his childhood days were largely spent on a farm in the central west. 
With a party of thirty persons he crossed the plains in 1851. Four yoke of 
oxen were used for each wagon. The expedition moved forward slowly, but 
peacefully and without Indian attacks or epidemics of sickness. August 5, 
1851, Nevada City was reached and from that point the members of the party 
dispersed to various sections. Mr. Luther remained in Nevada county for 
a year as a miner. Later he mined in Sierra county near the north fork of the 
Yuba river, from which point he went to Cantonville to engage in hydraulic 
mining. Of the thousands of Argonauts who came to California in the early 
period of gold excitement, he was one of the very few who secured enough 
gold in the mines to aid him in making a start in business life. 

As a passenger on the steamer Santa Cruz, in the spring of 1858 Mr. 
Luther came up the Pacific from San Francisco to Eureka. Some of the 
passengers landed at Trinidad in the surf, but he crossed the bar on the 
steamer and debarked at the Eureka wharf. His first step was to travel 



184 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

through the country on a tour of inspection. Soon he bonght a tract of 
grazing land near Alton on the Eel river, but this he later sold to Joe Russ, 
and meanwhile he had found employment in the cattle business at Bear river. 
In 1859, upon the inducement of Mr. Russ, he was persuaded to go to Eureka 
and form a partnership in the butcher business, but after one j^ear as a 
member of the firm Mr. Luther sold his interest to Mr. Russ and thereupon 
became manager of the shop, a position that he filled with the greatest 
efficiency for forty-three years, and then, in 1902, retired to private life. Dur- 
ing the early Indian troubles on Bear river, although not himself an active 
participant in the battles, he aided in conveying to places of safety men who 
had been seriously wounded In' the savages, and his recollections of that 
exciting period are -singularly clear and interesting. In Rohnerville, December 
6, 1864, he married Miss Celia Jane Ferrier, a native of Arkansas, who crossed 
the plains with her parents in 1852, and the same year located on a farm near 
Ferndale, Humboldt county. Four children, all natives of Eureka, were born 
of their union, namely : Frank W., proprietor of a store at Alton ; Charles 
C, the successor of his father as manager of the Russ market ; Ralph who 
is connected with the Humboldt Commercial Company at Eureka ; and Ruby 
B., who is with her parents at the old homestead. 

JOHN FREDERICK McGEORGE.— The pioneer grocer of Eureka, 
whose first identification with this line of business dates back to the opening 
of a small store at No. 1037 B street during the year 1883, is John Frederick 
McGeorge, a native of the parish of St. James, Charlotte county. New Bruns- 
wick, born June 3, 1846, of Scotch descent, and reared on a farm in that 
province. On leaving home to take up the task of self-support he went across 
the St. Croix river into Maine and was employed on farms in Aroostook 
county, where he continued for a number of years. Removing to Pennsyl- 
vania in 1872, he found employment on a farm in Clearfield county and 
remained in the same locality until 1877, after which he worked in the oil 
fields of Clarion, MacKean and Venango counties, in the same state. From 
Pennsylvania he came to California in 1883 and settled in Eureka, where 
he since has made his home and where, beginning with practically no capital, 
he has risen to a position among the prosperous real estate owners and busi- 
ness men of the place. 

After continuing for some years in small quarters, the growth of the 
business made it necessary to have a larger building, which was erected for 
him by the Dr. Clark estate. This he afterward purchased and here he con- 
ducted a first-class grocery business, that was incorporated in 1903 as the 
J. F. McGeorge Co. Recently he relinquished the active management of the 
grocery in order that he might devote his attention to his various property 
holdings. 

Through his marriage, in 1877, to ]\Iary B. Fulton, a native of Clearfield 
count}^ Pa., Mr. AIcGeorge has two daughters, Grace A. and Edith, both of 
whom are efficient teachers in the public schools of Eureka. Made a Mason 
in Clearfield Lodge, F. & A. M., in 1873, INIr. McGeorge has since been in- 
terested in the activities of Masonry, being exalted in Clearfield Chapter, 
R. A. M. He is now afifiliated with Humboldt Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M., of 
w^hich he is a past master, and of Humboldt Chapter No. 52, R. A. M., and 
with his wife and daughter is a member of Camelia Chapter No. 63, O. E. S. 



§^^£' 




J 



^7/D ,^y c// ' '' 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 187 

HON. RUFUS F. HERRICK.— With the early history of Indian affairs 
in Northern California the names of Mr. and Mrs. Herrick are closely linked 
and their activity during the period of warfare resulted in a quicker return 
to peaceful conditions than would otherwise have been possible. Substantial 
and patriotic traits would be expected of Mr. Herrick, for he is not only 
of Revolutionary stock, but has the further honor of claiming descent from 
Leif Ericsson, the Norseman, who established the first settlements in Rhode 
Island and on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., in the year 1000. The progenitor 
of the American branch of the family was Henry, Heneric, Hericke, or 
Herrick (there having been several variations in the spelling of the name, 
dating from the early Norse "Eric"). He was the fifth son of Sir William 
Herrick, and was born at Beau Manor Hall, Leicester county, England, in 
1604, and settled first in Massachusetts, and Francis, the grandfather of Rufus 
F. Herrick, served for forty years in the senate of that state. There were 
many distinguished members of this family during the early history of the 
nation, and the late distinguished citizen of Humboldt county inherited many 
of the splendid qualities of heart and mind that characterized his forbears. 

The father of Rufus F. Herrick was Capt. Ephraim Herrick, a native 
of Massachusetts, who became a pioneer of Ohio, which the son claimed as 
his native commonwealth, his birth having occurred at Wellington, Lorain 
county, on June 8, 1828, and his youth was spent in Ohio, where he learned 
to be a civil engineer, in 1849 helping to survey the line of the Cleveland, 
Cincinnati & Columbus Railroad, now merged with the Big Four. The dis- 
covery of gold attracted him to California, and in 1850 he crossed the plains 
to Placerville, where he mined for two years, going from there to Alameda 
county, where he engaged in the manufacture of lumber in the mountains 
above Redwood City, later following farming near San Leandro. Going from 
there to Santa Clara county, he carried on a lumbering business in that 
section for several years. In 1857 he surveyed the wagon road from Los 
Gatos to Santa Cruz, in Santa Clara valley, also raised a company and built 
a toll road. Over this road he brought his lumber from the mountains 
where he purchased a large tract of timber in Jones' redwoods. While going 
over the trail to view the mountains and locate a place for the road he saw 
a grizzly bear on the trail coming toward him. He tried to turn his mule 
back, but the stubborn animal would not turn, so he let it go and when 
the bear saw the mule it was not more than a hundred feet away. The 
bear gave one snort and went straight up the mountain, stopping about ever}^ 
hundred feet to look back and snort. This trail is now a county road. Sub- 
sequently he was county surveyor of Humboldt county for eleven years, 
surveying the overland road out of the county and most of the roads in the 
county. For fifteen years he was Deputy United States Surveyor, section- 
izing many townships for the government in the county and engineered the 
first logging iron track railroads in the county. 

^^'hile in Santa Clara county ]\Ir. Herrick met and married Martha J. 
Gist, who was born at South Bend, Ind., December 11, 1842, and was reared 
in the South. The lineage of her family is traced directly to Baron Von 
Gist, who was born in Germany in 1584 and in 1634 crossed the ocean to 
Maryland. The early married life of Rufus F. Herrick and his wife was 
spent in Humboldt county, Cal., where they ever afterwards made their 
home. Locating on Mad river in November, 1860, for a year Mr. Herrick 



188 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

cultivated a rented farm, and at this place he made the first cheese for ship- 
ment in the county. In 1861 he was appointed by the government to collect 
the Indians and place them on the Klamath Reservation and left Areata with 
about two hundred. After completing the task he was appointed by the 
federal government as farmer on the Klamath Indian Reservation, then 
in Klamath county. The freshet of 1861-62 destroyed the reservation there 
and Mr. Herrick was forced to move the Indians to Smith River, Del Norte 
county. About fifteen hundred Indians were removed under the personal 
charge of Mr. Herrick and later he had charge of the farming operations on 
the new ground. However, in 1863 he resigned from a work for which he 
was eminently qualified, that he might show his patriotic loyalty to the Union 
by entering the army. After assisting in raising and organizing Company 
D, First Battalion, California Mountaineers, he was made lieutenant of the 
same, and at the expiration of thirty days spent in this capacity was given 
command of the company, its captain being sent on detached duty, and Mr. 
Herrick was retained in this office thereafter. His previous success in 
handling the Indians caused him to be given charge of a large company of 
Indian prisoners, numbering some eight hundred in all, who had been cap- 
tured on the Trinity river and sent to Fort Humboldt. Before he arrived 
many of the Indians had escaped, and forty got away on the night of his 
arrival, the principal cause of trouble being lack of food. Through his 
efforts, they were given a sufficient ration, also furnished with hooks and 
lines for fishing, allowed to have occasional dances, and in other ways treated 
as they desired to be, so defections not only became rare, but in addition two 
hundred Indians returned to the fort within two months. At the end of two 
months they were transported by steamer to the Smith River Reservation, 
accompanied by Lieutenant Herrick himself. Returning to his company, he 
was in active service until May 21, 1865. During his association with the 
Indian service he succeeded in having most of the Indians of Humboldt 
county stationed at Fort Gaston. Both Mr. and Mrs. Herrick were in high 
favor with the red men, and when Colonel Black attempted to make a treaty 
with them, they refused to sign until Herrick himself had assured them that 
the colonel was treating them right and that he had authority to act. Many 
times the savages had opportunity to shoot Mr. Herrick, but they trusted 
him as a friend and had no thought of taking his life. 

On retiring from the Indian service Mr. Herrick bought two hundred 
forty acres near Ferndale on the Eel river and for four years engaged in 
ranching there, after which time he sold the property and purchased two 
thousand acres of marsh land at the foot of Table Blufif, from which he 
developed a splendid dairy farm, to which he added three hundred acres, which 
ranch is now the property of his widow. After conducting this immense 
ranch with splendid success for many years he leased it in 1897, and from 
that time until his death he lived in quiet retirement, a part of the time on 
his ranch and a part of the time in San Francisco, death finding him at his 
Loleta home, May 19, 1914. 

In politics Mr. Herrick was a Republican from the organization of the 
party, and was a leading member of Colonel Whipple Post No. 49, G. A. R., 
of Eureka. In the early history of California he took an active part, and 
especially in the welfare of Humboldt county, where he made his home from 
November, 1860, until his death, the most important work of his life being 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 189 

his services in behalf of the Indians. Since the death of Mr. Herrick his 
widow has continued to reside on her ranch near Loleta. He leaves two 
sons : Frank E., for many years county surveyor, and with his wife, formerly 
Miss Emma Gish of San Jose, Cal., residing at Eureka; and George D., who 
married Miss Jessie Rolph Nicol and resides in San Francisco. 

REUBEN GROSS, M. D.— Humboldt county has been especially favored 
in the kind of professional men who have cast their lots within her boundaries, 
and in none more than Dr. Reuben Gross, whose superior training has made 
him looked up to by his brother practitioners, while his kindly nature has 
attracted a wide patronage from all classes. He has lived at Eureka for almost 
forty years, and though always a medical man first has taken a live interest 
in the development of the town and county along commercial and industrial 
lines. Naturally he has done much to promote modern ideas of sanitation 
and wholesome living in the course of his work as a physician. But he has 
done as much in assisting local enterprises which have placed employment 
and consequent comfort within reach of the county's population, and his 
judgment on business matters is considered very reliable by all who have 
had occasion to try it. Dr. Gross is now in his eighties, having been born 
May 4, 1832, but he still retains control of his various interests in the city 
and county. 

The Gross family is of English origin, but the Doctor's immediate an- 
cestors have lived in America. It is thought that his grandfather, Richard 
Gross, was a native of Oxford county. Me., whence he removed to Canada, 
and he died in New Brunswick. By trade he was a shipbuilder. His wife, 
Mary, was born in Ireland. Isaac Gross, the Doctor's father, was born in 
Canada and passed all of his long life there, dying in New Brunswick at 
the age of eighty-one years. He was a lifelong farmer and not only successful 
financially but an influential man in his neighborhood, for many years taking 
a prominent part in the administration of its public affairs. He served his 
fellow citizens in the office of magistrate and supervisor. His wife was Ruth 
Edgett, a native of New Brunswick, in which province she spent all her 
life, living to the age of seventy-six years. She was a descendant of an 
old English family. Ten children survived her, the son Reuben being the 
sixth of this family in order of birth. 

Reuben Gross was born in the village of Hillsborough, New Brunswick, 
where he grew to manhood on the home farm. His early education was 
obtained in the locality, where he attended school winters until twenty years 
old, after which he taught in the district and grammar schools in order to 
accumulate funds for a higher education. Thus he paid his expenses at 
college, after which, in 1859, he went to Glasgow, Scotland, where he took 
the medical course at the University of Glasgow, completing the four years' 
work in a period of three years. He was graduated with high honors in 1862, 
receiving the degree of M. D., signed by Sir Joseph Lister, M. D., and also 
obtained a degree in surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. 
Returning to his native land, he opened an office for practice at Sussexvale 
in 1862, remaining there until 1869, when he gave up his work temporarily to 
put in a year at post-graduate study in London and Paris. When he came 
back he located at St. Stephen, New Brunswick, where he continued to prac- 



190 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

tice until his removal to the United States. In the fall of 1875 he came thence 
to Eureka, Humboldt county, Cal., and the fact that he has remained here 
since would indicate he has not repented of his choice. Ever zealous to keep 
in touch with the advancement of the times, he has spent a few months in 
post-graduate study at New York City since his settlement in California, but 
his own attainments and vigorous intellect fit him better for leadership than 
emulation. His approachable nature has made him beloved as well as trusted 
wherever his duties have called him, for he has never made any distinctions 
among his patients where his professional attention is concerned, and the 
night was never too stormy nor too dark for him to respond cheerfully to 
every inquiry whether the sufTerers were able to pay or not. The affectionate 
esteem universally shown him has been well merited in a life of exceptional 
usefulness. 

Not long after settling here Dr. Gross became interested in the redwood 
timber belt of Humboldt county and made heavy investments therein, at 
one time owning about three thousand acres, which he eventually sold at a 
material advance on the purchase price. He has valuable holdings of business 
property at Eureka and has done much to arouse interest in enterprises for 
the upbuilding of the town, besides giving indisputable evidence of his faith 
in her possibilities by putting his own capital into improvements here. In 
1902-03 he erected what was then the most substantial business block in the 
city, a fine brick structure one hundred and ten by one hundred and twenty 
feet in dimensions, with foundation sufficiently strong to support two more 
stories. This is the Gross block, at the corner of Fifth and F streets. Dr. 
Gross's city real estate includes his handsome residence. In company with 
J. A. Sinclair he has been interested in the development of twelve hundred 
acres of reclaimed marsh land about three miles east of Eureka, where they 
have been carrying on a profitable dairy business. The variety of his under- 
takings is sufficient to show how versatile the Doctor's talents are, and the 
breadth of his intellect, which goes thoroughly into everything which enlists 
his attention or sympathy, slighting no detail, however trivial, yet keeping 
the main issues always in sight. For many years he took a leading part in 
the activities of the Humboldt County Medical Society, of which he has 
been an influential member. Fraternally he is a Mason, holding membership 
in Humboldt Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M. 

On June 6, 1864, Dr. Gross was united in marriage with Miss Mary Mein, 
who was born at Hamilton, Scotland, where they became acquainted. Two 
children have been born to this union, Harold G. and Eleanor, the latter now 
the wife of Willard Wells, of Eureka. The son is following his father's 
calling. After a course at the !Vlassachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, 
where he received the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1888, he entered the 
medical department of Harvard University, from which he was graduated 
in 1891. Then he spent two years as interne in the City hospital at Boston, 
returning to Eureka to enter upon practice with his father, whose professional 
responsibilities he assumed gradually until the large patronage was entirely 
in his hands. The elder man has thus been enabled to relinquish practice 
gradually, and though his circle of patients makes heavy demands on the 
time of one person the son has measured up to his work and is regarded as 
the heir to his father's high reputation as well as to the clientele it enabled 
him to establish. 





7a^r7 






V?"^! C/> 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 193 

MRS. MARTHA J. HERRICK.— To the pioneer women of California, 
no less than to the men, are due the honor and respect of the generations that 
follow, for without their loving sympathy and support, without their faithful 
devotion and toil, there had been no civilization carved in the wilderness 
and no homes built in lonely places where Indians and wild beasts prowled 
by day and night. They have borne their full share in the making of a great 
commonwealth, and their names are held in loving remembrance in the 
hearts of the children of the Golden West, and will continue so to be through 
all generations. 

Prominent among the women who did much for the civilization and 
settlement of California must be named Mrs. Martha J. Herrick, wife of the 
late Rufus F. Herrick, one of the first men of the state, whose service to 
the government was of great importance in the settling of early Indian diffi- 
culties. In all this he was ably assisted by his young wife, although her name 
did not appear on commissions or government reports, for she was only 
aiding her husband in the performance of his duties. Mrs. Herrick has, how- 
ever, been signally recognized, the brilliancy of her achievements being such 
that they have attracted much attention. During the World's Fair at Chicago 
in 1893 she represented Humboldt county, and also exhibited her rare 
collection of Indian relics, on which she was awarded a medal. In addition, 
she received gold and silver medals from the Anthropological Societies of the 
United States and England for her knowledge of the lost arts of the Indians. 
She is the author of a treatise on the habits and customs of the Indians of 
Humboldt county (extracts from which were published in the Ethnological 
Bureau of Smithonian Institution), which is recognized as an authority on 
Indian sanitation. Another work along this line is now being compiled by 
her, its publication being eagerly awaited by those interested in Indian lore, 
Mrs. Herrick being recognized as the best authority on the history of the 
Indians in the Humboldt district, as well as on the general county history. 

Before marriage Mrs. Herrick was Miss Martha Gist, and she is 
descended from a family of great antiquity and honorable distinction. She 
is the great-great-granddaughter of Brigadier-General !Mordecai Gist, whose 
father, Christopher, went with General A\'ashington to make a treaty of peace 
between the colonies and the French and Indians. The two men became 
great personal friends. General Washington having said of Mr. Gist that he 
could not have made the treaty of peace with the Indians had it not been 
for the confidence the Indians had in Christopher Gist. The latter came from 
England with Leonard Calvert, a brother of Lord Baltimore, and he surveyed 
the town of Baltimore, while one of his sons, Christopher, surveyed the 
coast of Maryland, and was also a major in the Revolution. Gen. Mordecai 
Gist was complimented by the American Continental Congress for meeting 
the American army in full retreat and leading them back to victory. The 
father of Mrs. Herrick was David Gist, and her mother Matilda Fairfax 
Denton, the father being the son of Independence Gist, the son of Mordecai, 
before mentioned, who was born in Baltimore, Md., February 22, 1742, and 
died in Charleston, S. C, August 2, 1792, having distinguished himself in 
Revolutionary history. Mrs. Herrick herself was born at South Bend, Ind., 
and attended St. Mary's College at South Bend, to which town her parents 
had moved in 1830, and where she grew to maturity. On the maternal side 
Mrs. Herrick is descended from both the Denton and Fairfax families of 



194 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Scotland, which families were united by the marriage of the last two 
descendants who thereafter used both crests. In her possession Mrs. Herrick 
has a plate sent from Scotland as a wedding gift three hundred years ago 
to her great-grandmother, Elizabeth Fairfax Denton, by that lady's brother, 
Dallas Fairfax Denton. 

It was in November, 1858, that Mrs. Herrick came to California, on 
account of ill health, to visit a half-brother, making the long journey to San 
Francisco by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and on April 3, 1859, she was 
married in San Jose, Cal., to Rufus F. Herrick, an own cousin of Myron 
T. Herrick, now serving as Ambassador to France. The change was very 
great for her, a city-bred girl, and everything in the new land filled her with 
fear until she became accustomed to the new order. Her native poise and 
common sense came to her aid, and once she had adjusted herself she entered 
into the life of the country with a wonderful zest. Intensely interested in 
the work of her husband among the Indians, together they did much for the 
red men, treating them with kindness and consideration, protecting their 
rights and at all times according them justice and fair treatment. To this 
the savages responded, and both the young people were prime favorites with 
them, and most of the wonderful collection of Indian relics owned by Airs. 
Herrick, and now on exhibition at the Eureka Public Library, were gifts to 
her from her friends among the various tribes. 

Mr. and Mrs. Herrick became the parents of two children, both sons, 
who are well known throughout Humboldt county, where they were born 
and received their education. The elder, Frank E., was for many years 
county surveyor, and did much work in that line throughout that part of 
the state, including the surveying of the Newburg railroad and many other 
logging railroads. He married Miss Emma Gish of San Jose, and they now 
reside in Eureka. The other son, George D., is married to Miss Jessie Rolph 
Nicol, and they make their home in San Francisco, where he is engaged in 
the real estate business and timber lands, and his wife is prominent in club 
circles. The death of Mrs. Herrick's husband occurred May 19, 1914, at their 
Loleta home, where his wife continues to reside. 

Mrs. Flerrick has always been a woman of many activities, both she and 
her husband having been particularly interested in the work of the Grand 
Army. She helped to organize the Major Anderson Circle, Ladies of the 
Grand Army, in Eureka, and for two years was president of the circle, serving 
a year as department president of California and Nevada, being elected in 
Los Angeles, April 5, 1904. AA^hile serving in this ofifice she saw that many old 
soldiers did not take advantage of the soldiers' home because they would not 
leave their wives ; hence she planned the buying of three acres of land at 
Sawtelle, Cal., adjoining the soldiers' home. For the purpose of carrying out 
her plans she called an extra session of the ladies of the G. A. R. to meet 
in San Francisco, before whom she outlined her plans. The convention re- 
ceived her report with enthusiasm and gave her full power to work out her 
plan, which she did by buying the land and building thereon a number of 
houses, accommodating two families each, with rent and water free. The build- 
ing of these homes, which are the property of the Ladies of the G. A. R., per- 
mitted the families of the soldiers to continue unsevered. Both Mr. and Mrs. 
Herrick were very charitably inclined, and at the time of the San Francisco 
earthquake she opened her house in that city and fed the sufferers, receiving 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 195 

her supplies from their Hurnboldt county farm. She has brought up five 
orphan boys and one girl, giving her time to instructing and guiding them, 
several of them now occupying honorable official positions, being glad to 
give her the credit of awakening their ambitions and giving them a start in 
life. Mrs. Herrick has always been equal to every occasion. In the early 
days, when it was necessary to teach six months before drawing a salary, 
she conducted a free school in her own home for that length of time, after 
which Grant district was formed and she drew her salary from the county. 
Her teaching was fully appreciated and she was importuned to continue 
in the public schools, but lack of time prevented her doing so. She has been 
active in the work of the Woman's Relief Corps of Humboldt county, and 
at present is a member of the California Club of San Francisco, the National 
Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at Washington, the 
Geographical Association of Washington, the Smithsonian Institution and 
the Anthropological Association of Washington. 

A really wonderful woman, of marked executive ability and much 
diplomacy, Mrs. Herrick has endeared herself to the people of California by 
her noble stand and originality as presiding officer in the Ladies of the 
G. A. R. In all her undertakings she has been successful, and her late hus- 
band ascribed to her the credit of contributing more toward laying the founda- 
tion of their fortune than did he himself. 

CHARLES J. CHRISTIE.— This pioneer citizen of Eureka, whose death 
occurred March 6, 1907, was well known in Humboldt county as an excellent 
horseman, and he was in business at Eureka for a number of years prior to 
his decease, starting the enterprise in which his son succeeded him and which 
is now carried on by his daughter, Miss Josephine Christie. Her able manage- 
ment has won her the admiration of all who have had occasion to transact 
business with her, and under it the trade has shown a steady increase. Miss 
Christie has displayed a self-reliant spirit in undertaking to continue the 
business and has proved her competency in the care of all its details. 

The late Mr. Christie was a native of Calais, Me., and there spent his 
early life. While still living in the east he married Margaret Orr, who was 
also born in Maine, and they came to California in the early days, making the 
trip to Eureka by way of Cape Horn. Mr. Christie had always been fond 
of horses and skillful in their management, and he found work in the woods 
as a teamster, being so expert as a driver that he often drove eight- or ten- 
horse teams. For a time he was engaged in the livery business at Ferndale, 
Humboldt county, but he returned to Eureka, where he established a large 
business in draying and retail wood, also doing general teaming. He was 
thus engaged until he turned the business over, in 1901, to his son, Charles 
Frederick. His death occurred when he was sixty-six years old, at Eureka, 
his wife surviving him four years, her demise occurring May 5, 1911. His 
son, Charles Frederick Christie, took hold of the business from its inception, 
expanding it by his energetic methods, and was doing well when he died, 
April 7, 1912. Since then it has been carried on by Miss Josephine Christie, 
who is doing all that intelligent attention and first-class system can accom- 
plish, and her success has been a matter of interest to all the townspeople, for 
she was the first woman at Eureka to undertake anything in that line of 
business. She keeps five horses, two teams being usually kept busy filling 
orders. The principal trade is in sixteen-inch stove wood, redwood and pine. 



196 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

About thirty-five hundred cords of wood are handled yearly, and coal is 
delivered for the Hammond Lumber Company, the yards being located at 
the foot of I street. Though the greater part of her attention is given to 
business, Miss Christie never hesitates to lend her aid and influence to any 
worthy movement started in the community, where her enterprise has gained 
her the unqualified respect of her business associates and friends alike. 

Miss Christie continues to occupy the old family home at No. 1304 G 
street, Eureka. The family of Charles J. and Margaret (Orr) Christie con- 
sisted of three children, the son and daughter already mentioned, and Alice 
G., now the wife of Charles \V. Hitchings and residing at Eureka. Miss 
Christie is a native daughter of Eureka, where she passed her earlier life. 

JOSEPH DIBBLE HOYT CHAMBERLAIN.— Being restless as a lad, 
eager to see the world and fond of travel, Mr. Chamberlain enlisted when in 
his teens in the United States navy and prior to completing his apprentice- 
ship, when twenty-one years of age, had circumnavigated the globe three 
times. This was a task calling for physical strength, powers of endurance 
and fearless courage, and the fact that he continued in service several years 
furnishes proof as to his fine physical and mental qualities. In 1849 he 
rounded Cape Horn and, on landing in San Francisco, found the discussion 
of the discovery of gold to be the general theme of conversation. With others, 
he rushed for the mines, but meeting with indifferent success, returned to his 
home in Erie county, N. Y., and decided to take up the profession of law. In 
due time he was admitted to the bar in New York state and practiced there 
until he moved to Kansas. There he won extended patronage by reason of 
his wide understanding of law and adjustive ability and made it his home 
until 1872, when he determined to try his fortunes on the coast, locating in 
Eureka, Cal. Among its legal practitioners who materially increased the 
professional prestige of Humboldt county, none was more typically represen- 
tative of western enterprise and eastern conservatism than Mr. Chamberlain, 
who for many years was the law partner of the Hon. J. J. De Haven. On the 
election of the latter to the United States senate, he associated himself with 
Hon. Frank McGowan and afterward with C. M. Wheeler. Mr. Chamberlain 
was the possessor of one of the largest and most valuable law libraries in the 
county, and his exceptionally high standing throughout the state proved not 
only determination of character and resolution of purpose, but also an unusual 
capacity of intellect and superior powers of mind. Rarely indeed is there to 
be found in any community a man so deeply honored or so generally beloved. 
He was born January 31, 1827, and died "June 17, 1902. 

Mr. Chamberlain was interested in everything pertaining to Masonry, 
having been a member of the Blue Lodge, Knights Templar, and 
of Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. of San Francisco. He was also a member 
of the Knights of Pythias. Politically he was a Republican. In August, 1890, 
he was married to Mrs. Sarah Shaw Stewart, a native of Center Point, Iowa, 
who is represented in a separate sketch in this work. 

GEORGE D. MURRAY.— Born in Areata, Humboldt county, Cal., Sep- 
tember 25, 1855. Taught in the public schools of the county, and in 1884 
commenced the practice of law, opening an office in Eureka. He continued 
to practice law until January, 1909, when he became one of the Judges of the 
Superior Court of the county. In 1892 he married Miss Annie F. Zane, herself 
a native of the county and a teacher in the public schools. 




^~^AMyny^ -V /L^^^^^i->'>7^ 



HISTORY DF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 199 

FRANK GRAHAM. — For almost half a century a resident of Humboldt 
county, and during all that time engaged in occupations that have closely 
identified him with the life of the community and with the development of 
the natural resources of the county, Frank Graham, of Areata, is indeed a 
pioneer, and a splendid type of the men who have made California a "front 
door" instead of a "back door" to the nation. He has been associated with 
the various forms of the lumber industry for more than forty-five years on 
the coast, and was before that engaged in logging in the New Brunswick 
and Maine woods. For more than thirty years he has been superintendent 
of the logging department of a mill on Blue Lake, at Korbel, which he 
helped to build, and for which his industry is largely responsible. He is 
prominently associated with the best interests of Humboldt county, banks, 
railroads, telephones and farming and dairying interests all receiving their 
share of his ability and energetic strength of mind and body. Throughout 
the county he is known as a man of more than ordinary worth, and his 
word is as good as his bond. He is especially well liked by the men in his 
employ, each one feeling that in his superintendent he has a true friend in 
time of need and a wise counselor at all times. 

Mr. Graham is a native of York county, New Brunswick, where he was 
born near Fredericton, February 25, 1844. His father, James Graham, was a 
native of Ireland, but left the Emerald Isle when he was quite young and 
came alone to New Brunswick. There he found employment on a farm 
where he remained for several years, saving his money with great care, and 
eventually accumulating enough to purchase the farm himself. There he 
engaged in farming until his death about twenty years ago. The mother of 
Mr. Graham was Marguerite Miller, also a native of Ireland, who came to 
New Brunswick with her parents when she was a child, and there her life 
was passed. She was married to James Graham in 1841, and became the 
mother of twelve children, of whom Frank Graham is the eldest son, but 
the second born, there being one daughter older than he. Mrs. Graham 
passed away in 1860. The father married again, and two children were born 
to the second wife. 

The boyhood days of Frank Graham were passed on his father's farm 
in New Brunswick, where he attended first the grammar school and later a 
private school until he was fifteen years of age. At that time he went to work 
in the woods for the munificent sum of $6.50 a month. In 1868 he went into 
the Maine woods where he remained a year before returning to Canada. Re- 
ports of the opportunities offered to the ambitious young man in California 
reached him, and in 1869 he came to the coast, crossing the plains in one of 
the first trains to come to California. He located in Humboldt county in the 
fall of that year, and has since made this the scene of his operations. During 
the first year he worked by the month, running rafts, but the following year 
he commenced working by contract, running rafts on the Elk river, and 
continued here until 1872. At that time he began to work for Harris Con- 
nick in the woods at Ryan slough, and in the summer ran rafts on the slough 
up to the fall of 1873. That year he formed a company with his brother, Alex 
Graham, and James Kirk and bought out the property known as the old 
Baird claim, and engaged in logging. The acreage covered by this purchase 
was extensive, numbering some nine hundred or a thousand acres, and for a 

2 



200 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

year the partners followed the new venture with great success, then, in 
1875, sold their interests to Baird & Cotterel. 

Following this venture Mr. Graham went to work for the Flanigin & 
Bronson Company, contracting in the logging business, and remained with 
this company for two years. In 1877 he entered the employ of John Vance, 
again contracting for logging, this time operating on Lindsay creek. Here he 
remained for four years. In 1881 he secured contracts under the Carson & 
Flanigin Company, and the following year formed a company with G. W. 
Chandler, Al Kendall and M. F. Henderson and bought land on Blue I>ake, 
where they built a mill. Soon after the mill was completed Mr. Graham also 
purchased several hundred acres of land in the vicinity. In 1886 they moved 
the mill to Riverside, where they have manufactured lumber ever since. In 
connection with the work of the mill Mr. Graham took charge of the logging, 
and it is with this that he has been associated ever since. In 1889 the com- 
pany bought out Mr. Chandler, and in 1886 H. W. Jackson had bought the 
interest of Mr. Henderson. This left Mr. Graham and Al Kendall as the 
only members of the company who were also a part of the original organiza- 
tion. In 1889 they incorporated the mills and lands as the Riverside Lumber 
Company and conducted the business under that name. This venture has 
prospered from the first and is now one of the oldest and best established 
business concerns in Flumboldt county. 

In 1903 the company bought out the lumber mill at Korbel, operated 
then by the Korbel Lumber Company, and consolidating this with the Riv- 
erside Lumber Company, incorporated the business under the name of the 
Northern Redwood Lumber Company, under which both mills are now 
operated. The mills cut annually about fifty million feet of lumber, which is 
brought by rail to their yards in Areata and the Areata wharfs, from which 
point it is shipped to the east as well as to Australia, South America, West 
Indies and Mexico. The company operates a large dairy farm near Korbel. 
Mr. Graham owns one hundred sixty acres on Areata bottom which he devoted 
to dairying and farming for several years, giving his personal attention to 
this industry, but at present the farm is rented to tenants. Another of his 
interests is the tannery at Areata, he with others buying out the old tannery 
about 1903, and it is known as the Devlin Tannery Company. 

Mr. Graham has also been interested in the general merchandise busi- 
ness, being one of the founders of the store known as the Seeley & Titlow 
Company, the original business being purchased from a Mrs. Spring in 1902. 
He is interested in the creamery business in Areata and the surrounding 
country also, and is a prominent member of the Areata Creamery Associa- 
tion. He was also one of the founders of the First National Bank of Areata, 
of which he is a director and a heavy stockholder. 

A distinct line of public interest and welfare has been touched by Mr. 
Graham in his association with the telephone and railroad enterprises of 
Humboldt county. He was one of the founders of the telephone company 
operating between Areata and Crescent City, and is at present one of the 
stockholders in the company. His railroad interest is in the line from the 
Areata wharf to Korbel, where he is interested in the mills. 

In politics Mr. Graham is a Republican, and he has always been keenly 
interested in the doings of his party and in the general welfare of the state and 
nation from a political standpoint, while his interest in local issues is vital 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 201 

and influential. He is a progressive and always on the side of social better- 
ment and civic uplift. In fraternal and social circles he is well known and 
deservedly popular. He has a host of friends in every walk of life and in 
every grade of society who admire and trust him, and who esteem his 
friendship as a jewel of rare price. He is associated with a number of promi- 
nent fraternal organizations, among which may be mentioned Eureka Lodge 
No. 652, B. P. O. E., Humboldt Lodge No. 77, I. O. O. F., in Eureka, and the 
Hoo Hoos. 

The marriage of Mr. Graham occurred in Eureka, March 4, 1875, uniting 
him with Miss Martha Adeline Montgomery, a native of Texas, where she 
was borii December 30, 1857. Mrs. Graham came to California with her 
parents when she was a small child. They located first in Modesto, soon 
afterward going to the Sacramento valley, and later, in 1872, they removed to 
Humboldt county. Mrs. Graham bore her husband eight children, as fol- 
lows : James Francis, deceased ; Addie Lu, now Mrs. Bert Hill, of Ar- 
eata; Henry, deceased; Norman A., of Areata; Fred Osborn, deceased; Hazel, 
the wife of Ernest Tierney, of Eureka ; Mildred and Earl. The younger 
generation of Grahams are all well and favorably known in Humboldt county, 
where they were all born and educated, and where they all reside. Mr. and 
Mrs. Graham are members of the Presbyterian church. 

Mr. Graham at present makes his home in Areata, where he has a com- 
fortable residence, and where his business interests center. He is a notable 
figure on the streets, and an important factor in the affairs of his city and 
county. He is a splendid type of the pioneer men who have made Hum- 
boldt county a land of beautiful homes and fertile farms, and the transforma- 
tion through which he has witnessed the county pass is great indeed. Yet 
he has ever kept abreast of the times, and is today modern and progressive 
in the broadest sense of the word. 

ELMER J. FROST. — Tracing his lineage back through Colonial ancestry 
to Merrie England, and himself a native of Maine, Elmer J. Frost is, never- 
theless, today one of the most loyal and devoted of California's sons. He came 
first to Humboldt county when he was twenty-three years of age, and 
although he returned to his native state, and later spent several years as a 
resident of Minnesota, he never at any time gave up the idea of returning to 
California eventually to make his home. He has been variously engaged in 
business, but for the greater part of his time he has been associated with the 
lumber industry, having been connected with some of the largest companies 
in the county in various important capacities. He is now serving as super- 
visor of the fourth district in Humboldt county, his first term of four years 
expiring January 1, 1915. He was before the people for re-election in the fall 
of 1914, and his record was such that at the primaries he received ten hundred 
and thirty votes majority over two opponents, and he will continue his public 
service as supervisor. 

Mr. Frost was born at Bethel, Oxford county. Me., January 23, 1851, the 
son of James C. Frost, a native of the same county, in which he lived and died. 
The grandfather, Nathaniel Frost, was a farmer, and also a native of Maine, 
where he spent his lifetime, working in the woods during the winter time 
and farming in the summer months. The great-grandfather of Elmer Frost 
on the paternal side came to America from England in Colonial days and 
settled in Maine, where the family has since resided. It is descended from 



202 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

a well-known old English family, which is still located in the mother country. 
The mother of the present esteemed citizen of Eureka was Mary E. Rowe, 
and her Grandfather Rowe was a soldier in the Revolution. She also was 
descended from sturdy old English stock, but with a generous strain of Irish 
blood intermixed. She became the mother of eleven children, eight sons and 
three daughters. Of the sons four came to Humboldt county, where they 
are now well known and highly respected citizens. 

The boyhood days of Mr. Frost were passed in his native state, where 
he attended the public schools, working in the woods and on his father's 
farm in the vacation times, after he was twelve years old. He attended the 
high school at Maysville, Me., for one year, and then went to work in the 
woods, contracting and working as a carpenter in bridge building. Later he 
worked for two years with Albert Burley (the first president of the Bangor 
& Aroostook Railroad) as a surveyor in the timber country. 

It was in 1875 that Mr. Frost first came to Humboldt county, he being 
the first of the brothers to come to California. After working in the lumber 
woods for two years he returned to Maine and remained for a year, then 
going to Minnesota, where he remained for five years, being engaged prin- 
cipally in lumbering. It was in 1885 that he returned to Humboldt county, 
arriving in Eureka November 29 of that year, his three brothers having 
preceded him, and all located in this county. For three years he was em- 
ployed by the Falk Lumber Company, on Elk river, as their head chopper, and 
then had charge of the Russ claim (timber) for the Excelsior Redwood Com- 
pany of Eureka for three years. At a still later date he became head chopper 
for the Carson Lumber Company on Lindsay creek, serving in this capacity 
for six'years. For ten years he served as special police in Eureka, and when 
ofif duty worked as a carpenter. In the capacity of special police he gave the 
greatest satisfaction, and made many warm friends. 

When he was twenty-three years of age (1874) Mr. Frost was united in 
marriage in Caribou, Aroostook county, I\Ie., with Miss Ella M. Starbird, 
daughter of W. R. and Angeline (Washburn) Starbird, who came to Hum- 
boldt county in 1899, and died here some time later. Of this union was born 
one child. Lulu E., now the wife of Charles H. Falor, chief electrician for the 
Western States Gas & Electric Company of Eureka, and the mother of one 
child, a son, Laurence Falor, aged eighteen years. 

Aside from his business and official relations Mr. Frost has many warm 
personal friends throughout the county. He has always been especially well 
liked by his business associates and by the men who have worked under his 
direction. Prominent in fraternal circles, he was made a Mason in Caribou 
(Me.) Lodge, and after going to Minnesota he was one of the organizers 
and the first master of Perham Lodge No. 157, and at the present time is a 
member of Humboldt Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M., and is also a member of 
Eureka Lodge No. 652, B. P. O. E. He has always been keenly interested 
in political and governmental affairs and has stood for progress along sane 
and sensible lines, and for all that tends toward the betterment and upbuilding 
of the municipality and of the community generally. In his duties as super- 
visor of the fourth district he is especially interested in the management of 
the Humboldt county hospital, the care of the indigent poor and the super- 
vision of the county roads, in all of which he has been faithful to the trust 
reposed in him. 



I 




I 



'Esfltv CamdMl'Smilmri fnrlTiSLcric Rs snri Cc 




HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 205 

DOMINGO ZANONE. — When a young man Domingo Zanone, whose 
name became well known among the cattlemen of Humboldt county, Cal., 
came to the western hemisphere from his home in Italy, where he was born 
in Genoa on March 9, 1828, his father already having spent several years in 
America. On first coming to the United States, Domingo Zanone remained 
for a time in Pittsburg, Pa., where he was employed in an iron foundry, after 
which, in October of the year 1849, he set out for California from New York 
City, with no expectation of the roundabout journey which was before him. 
Although it was his intention to come by way of the Isthmus of Panama, his 
course of necessity followed a dififerent line, the trip consuming a period of 
eighteen months. The vessel upon which he set sail was obliged to stop 
at Rio de Janeiro, in South America, to repair a leak, and as the yellow fever 
was at that time prevalent in that city, their passage money was returned 
to the passengers, many of whom, among them being Mr. Zanone, secured 
passage on a steamer bound for Buenos Ayres, from which city they there- 
after crossed the pampas plains and Andes Mountains to Valparaiso, in Chile, 
a journey which covered forty days, after which they embarked for San Fran- 
cisco, arriving there on the first day of June, 1850. 

After his arrival in California, Mr. Zanone for seven years followed 
mining- on the Feather river, he and his brother Anthony working in partner- 
ship. They dammed the river to engage in hydraulic mining, but lost 
$17,000 in the enterprise, which bankrupted them. Remaining in the mining 
district after his first failure, Mr. Zanone by faithful endeavor accumulated 
considerable money, which, however, he also lost in unwise investments. He 
then put about $10,000 into a cattle ranch on Dry creek, in Butte county, 
Cal., which he stocked with cattle, and remained in that section of the country 
until the year 1865, when with his brother he came up to Humboldt county 
and established himself in the stock business in the Mattole valley. From 
the first the business was very promising, and Domingo Zanone was the first 
man to drive cattle south from this territory, taking the first drove of beef 
cattle that ever left the Mattole country down to Santa Rosa. Later he 
made shipments by boat to San Francisco and sold large consignments to 
that market, where his large operations and reliable transactions made him 
well and favorably known. His energy and wideawake methods kept his 
business constantly on the increase, and he continued to be associated with 
his brother until the middle seventies, their partnership at that time being 
dissolved. It was then that Domingo Zanone returned on a visit to Italy, 
where he married, coming again thereafter to the Mattole country in Cali- 
fornia to resume business, becoming well known all over the western part 
of Humboldt county as a cattle raiser, dealer and shipper, and retaining large 
interests in the stock business until the end of his days. At one time he was 
part owner of the old steamship Ferndale, which was employed in the ship- 
ment of cattle from Port Kenyon on Salt river to the San Francisco markets, 
and besides being the owner of hundreds of acres of property in Humboldt 
county, was also a director in the old Humboldt Bank and of the woolen 
mill, and the trusted associate and friend of many of the best known business 
men in that section of the state. The ranch which he purchased near Petrolia 
in Humboldt county and to which he from time to time made additions now 
comprises an area of fifty-two hundred acres of grazing and tillable lands 
whereon are raised hay and vegetables for the feeding of stock, Mr. Zanone 



206 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

having been the owner of a thousand head of cattle on the estate. Aside 
from his PetroUa property, he owned five other ranches, all of which, since 
his death, are leased to others by his wife and comprise two eighty-acre 
ranches in the Eel river valley, two dairy ranches in the Elk river valley, 
and four hundred twenty acres at Colma, near Redwood City in San Mateo 
county. He was also the owner of a business block and residence at Eureka, 
Cal., where his family home is located, a most attractive residence with 
grounds covering three acres at the corner of Sixteenth and G streets, occu- 
pied by his widow and family. 

The wife of Domingo Zanone, formerly Miss Magdalena Ghio, of Genoa, 
Italy, where their marriage was celebrated on September 18, 1874, is an 
excellent business woman, possessed of fine executive ability, and an earnest 
member of the Catholic Church, and since her marriage has never returned 
to her native land. Of her family of seven children, six are now living, their 
names being as follows: Magdalena; Mercedes, now the wife of Frank 
Shanahan, a rancher of Eureka ; Augusta and Eugenia, who make their home 
wdth their mother at Eureka ; Domingo Anthony, represented elsewhere in 
this volume, and Ernest J., both of whom are cattle raisers in Petrolia. At 
the time of his death, which occurred at his home in Eureka on December 
16, 1901, Mr. Zanone was known as one of the wealthiest citizens of the 
county, an ardent Democrat in his political convictions, and a man who gave 
of his time and means to the advancement of the interests of his party, taking 
an active part in its councils, and for eleven years having acted as a member 
of the county central committee. In Humboldt county, where he for so 
many years made his home, Domingo Zanone will long be remembered as 
one who left a fine record for industry, sincerity and the respect and confi- 
dence which he inspired in all who knew him, and few who have come to 
our country from foreign shores have left a more enduring impress on the 
afifairs of our western coast than has Domingo Zanone. 

DOMINGO ANTHONY ZANONE.— The sons of the late Domingo 
Zanone, known to his generation in Humboldt county and in San Francisco 
markets as a veteran cattleman of the Mattole valley, are keeping up the 
reputation attaching to their name, which has long been synonymous with 
success in the cattle business in this region. Domingo Zanone, the father, 
came to America from Italy when a young man, and settled in Humboldt 
county in 1868, where he became a large landowner, acquired valuable prop- 
erty at the county seat, and was associated with various business enterprises 
which marked the progress of events in northern California. 

Of the family of seven children, six of whom are now living, Domingo 
Anthony Zanone was born March 8, 1887, in Eureka, Cal., and received ex- 
cellent educational advantages, taking his preparatory training in his native 
city, where he attended the primary and high schools, afterward studying at 
St. Mary's College, Oakland, Cal. His brother Ernest attended the same 
educational institutions, and they are now in partnership in the cattle busi- 
ness, owning and operating the Zanone stock ranch in the Mattole valley, a 
tract of thirty-six hundred acres devoted to the raising of high grade Here- 
ford and Durham beef cattle, the ranch having seven miles of ocean front, 
which is a distinct advantage, since the frost is thereby lessened and the 
grass rendered more abundant. The brothers inherited this property from 
their father, and though too young at the time of his death to have had the 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 207 

benefit of much business training under him, they have inherited his aptitude 
therefor, as the condition of their land and the excellent routine along which 
their work is conducted give evidence. The management is worthy of older 
heads, and is undergoing constant improvement in the hands of these alert 
young men, whose industry alone would insure large returns. Though 
Domingo Zanone, who is represented elsewhere in this history, was so 
sincere a Democrat, both the sons are Republicans on purely political ques- 
tions, experience having proven to them that the principles of the latter party 
are for the best interests of the great majority of the people of our country. 

HON. ARTHUR WELLSLEY HILL.— The district attorney of Hum- 
boldt county is one of the native sons whose record is most praiseworthy and 
who, imbued with the spirit of progress, most firmly believes in the future 
advancement of this section of the state. A member of one of the honored 
pioneer families, he was born in Eureka in 1864 and received the excellent 
advantages which the schools of this city ofi^ered, while in addition, after 
having completed a high school course here, he was a student in the University 
of California and in 1893 was graduated from the Hastings Law School. One 
year prior to graduation he had passed the examination before the state 
supreme court in Sacramento and had been admitted to the bar of the state 
with a most creditable standing in all papers. After an association of one 
year with A. P. Van Dusen in law practice at San Francisco he returned to 
Eureka and has since here practiced his profession, with a growing reputation 
for thorough knowledge of its varied technicalities. 

Taking a leading part in the deliberations of local politicians and pro- 
gressive citizens, Mr. Hill became well and favorably known in other lines 
than that of the law. As early as 1896 his name was brought forward as a 
candidate for official honors, and during 1897-98 he ably represented the 
district as assemblyman in the state legislature. He served as deputy attorney 
until January, 1914, at which time he was appointed district attorney for the 
unexpired term of the late Kenneth Newett, Jr. So conscientiously, diligently 
and well did he perform his duties that at the fall election in 1914 he was 
elected district attorney of Humboldt county by a large majority. In prose- 
cutions he has been prompt to protect the interests of the county, intelligent 
in the application of the law and capable of carrying intricate cases through 
to the end. Although far from being an elderly man, he has seen within his 
recollections many changes in the city of his birth and the county of his 
lifelong identification. In every advance that has been made he takes a com- 
mendable pride. His encouragement is given to movements for the material 
growth of the community, and two very influential local organizations, the 
Eureka Board of Trade and the Humboldt Club, have been benefited by his 
active co-operation and efficient assistance. He was made a Mason in Hum- 
boldt Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M., and is also a member of Eureka Lodge No. 
652, B. P. O. E., and Lincoln Lodge, K. of P. In the line of his profession 
he is a member of the Humboldt County Bar Association and the State Bar 
Association of California. By his marriage to Nanita Patten, a native of 
Vermont, he has two children, Dorothea and Arthur W., Jr. 

The founder of the Hill family in Humboldt county was an uncle of the 
district attorney, Stephen Hill, a pioneer of 1854, who married Isabella Wilson, 
a native of New Brunswick; his death occurred on Christmas day of 1906, 
and that of his wife on the day following Christmas in 1907. A younger 



208 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

brother of Stephen Hill, John by name, born in Charlotte county. New Bruns- 
wick, in 1834, and deceased in Humboldt county, July 20, 1911, was a man 
of sterling character and splendid energies. Destiny gave to him no favorable 
surroundings in youth, but made it necessary for him to begin to earn his 
livelihood at the age of twelve years. There were few opportunities for a 
lad of twelve in the world, but he managed to earn his board and clothes, 
though having no opportunity to save anything or to gain any educational 
advantages. To an unusual degree he might be termed self-made. The long 
hours and the hard work of the lumber camps of Maine did not daunt his 
determination nor drive him from the occupation, for he still continued in it 
after moving to Wisconsin. Indeed, he was among the first to take up work 
in the lumber woods of that state. During 1859 he came via Panama to 
California, spending one month between New York and San Francisco, and 
then joining in Humboldt county his brother, Stephen, who had established 
a logging camp on Ryan slough near Eureka. After a considerable period 
of association with the brother in lumber interests he withdrew to take up 
farming on the old Hill place near Ryan slough, where he resided until his 
death, meantime in addition to agriculture establishing and maintaining a 
brick plant on his property. The people of the county, fully appreciating the 
worth of his citizenship, accorded to him and his brother a place among their 
foremost citizens and recognized him as a farmer and business man of 
judicious management and great perseverance. Through his marriage to 
Mary A. Baldwin, a native of New Brunswick, he was the father of four sons, 
all living and all men of standing and professional or business prestige. They 
are as follows : George F., a contractor in Eureka ; Arthur W., district attor- 
ney of Humboldt county; Dr. E. J. Hill, of Areata; and Dr. Howard S. Hill, 
of Seattle. 

FELICE FRANCISCONI, proprietor of the Italian-French bakery in 
Eureka, is a young man of worth and enterprise who has built up a creditable 
business. He w^as born in the city of Lucca, Italy, April 2, 1878, the son 
of Giuseppe Francisconi, a carpenter and builder. Felice attended the public 
schools until fourteen, when he began learning the carpenter's trade under 
his father and continued at it for about eight years. As a result of the 
glowing reports which had come regarding California he decided to come 
to the Pacific coast, thinking he could better his condition. In January, 1902, 
he arrived in San Francisco, where for several years he followed his trade, 
and while living there. May 9, 1909, he was married to Miss Elide De Llosso, 
also born in Lucca, Italy. Her father, Giuseppe De Llosso, came to the 
United States and settled at St. Paul, Minn., where for several years he was 
engaged in the merchandise business, after which he returned to Italy. As 
a girl Mrs. Francisconi lived in St. Paul, Minn., where she attended school, 
but returned to Lucca, Italy, when thirteen years of age. There she com- 
pleted her education, later coming to San Francisco with her aunt, and in 
that city she was married to Mr. Francisconi. 

In 1910 Mr. and Mrs. Francisconi came to Eureka and a year later Mr. 
Francisconi purchased the Italian-French bakery at No. 732 Second street, 
where he has built up a large business in his line. Air. and Mrs. Francisconi 
have two children, Olga and Tosca. Fraternally he is a member of the 
Druids and politically is a Republican. 




ijTiqdiy CampisIlBratbEzs fsrlSszaricRBDarSCa. 



-^^2^ ^/,.^ ^/ue^^ 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 213 



GEORGE ZEHNDNER.— To the biographer there is always interest 
in tracing the successive steps which have led a pioneer from poverty and 
obscurity to influence and prosperity. No advantages of education or oppor- 
tunity came to Mr. Zehndncr in his old German home in Bavaria, where he 
was born June 22, 1824, of humble parentage, and where he became inured to 
hard labor on a farm. To have a chance to cross the ocean in 1849 seemed 
the first opportunity to this self-sustaining youth and he was eager to avail 
himself of the advantages which he hoped would await him in the new world. 
A long voyage of three months on an ocean sailer did not daunt his high 
hopes, for he was of the sturdy blood of Teutonic warriors and philosophers, 
and the privations of a steerage passage could cause only a very temporary 
inconvenience. His father, Nicholas Zehndner, had fought in the Napoleonic 
war of 1812-14 and had been in the German regular army from 1821 to 1827, 
the family meantime remaining on a small farm to which he made frequent 
visits during seasons of furlough. 

Arriving in America with a very small sum of money, it was not easy for 
George Zehndner to reach Indiana, but by dint of considerable patience and 
prolonged effort he arrived in that state and found work on a farm, where he 
remained until the spring of 1852. Meanwhile he had become familiar with 
the English language and was thus better fitted to cope with the difficulties 
of life in a strange country. Leaving the Indiana farm, he walked to Dayton, 
Ohio, and thence to Cincinnati, where he took passage on a river steamboat 
bound for New Orleans, and from the latter city he worked his passage to 
Havana. Next he sailed for the isthmus. He was obliged to walk across 
the isthmus, and when he landed at the Pacific coast he found about three 
thousand persons waiting for boats to take them to San Francisco. After 
some time he secured passage on an old whaling vessel, which was obliged 
to put in at Honolulu owing to the scarcity of provisions. There again the 
young emigrant met with difficulties, for he was without money. Finally he 
was taken on board the schooner Lena, which brought its one hundred sixty 
passengers into the harbor of San Francisco in August of 1852. 

Memories of the first day in California still linger in the mind of Mr. 
Zehndner. After wandering about until he was almost exhausted he stepped 
into a bar-room, where he was permitted to spend the night. The next day 
he earned seventy-five cents, one-third of which was paid out for a loaf of 
bread, and it is doubtful if he ever appreciated food in his entire life to a 
greater degree than on that memorable occasion. By working for his passage 
he managed to get to Sacramento, where he had employment in a brickyard 
for a month. Next he went to Marysville, from there walked to the American 
river and worked in the mines for three weeks, but lack of success caused him 
to return to Sacramento and secure work as a wood-chopper. The spring of 
1853 found him at Weaverville, Trinity county, where he met with moderate 
success and invested his earnings in a pack-train. During 1854 he traded his 
twenty mules for twenty cows and drove the herd across to Humboldt county, 
where he settled on Angels ranch, twelve miles from Areata, and embarked 
in the cattle industry. For a time he was prospered, but a most discouraging 
incident occurred March 22, 1862, when he was shot in the hand and back 
by Indians. He succeeded in making his escape to the house of a neighbor, 
but his ranch-house was burned and all of his cattle stolen. For two years 
he was ill, as a result of wounds received in the attack. At the subsidence of 



214 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

the Indian troubles in 1866 he returned to his ranch from Areata and resumed 
dairying and cattle-raising, but in 1870 he sold the property and again estab- 
Hshed a home at Areata, where he has ever since resided. Near town he 
formerly owned a ranch of forty acres, but this he sold after conducting it for 
many years. He still owns another ranch comprising one hundred eighteen 
acres, which he rents to tenants, and he now lives retired from agricultural 
cares. Besides his country holdings he owns valuable business property in 
the heart of Areata. 

Republican in his political faith and an ardent admirer of the late William 
McKinley, during 1906 Mr. Zehndner erected a bronze life-size monument in 
memory of the martyr president and this memorial, which he presented to the 
city of Areata, now stands in the center of the park and, mounted on a granite 
square, commands the admiring attention of passers-by. In matters Masonic 
he is identified with Areata Lodge No. 106, F. & A. M., also Eureka Chapter 
No. 52, R. A. M. Mrs. Zehndner, whom he married December 8, 1874, bore 
the maiden name of Christene Rossow, and was born and reared in Branden- 
burg, Germany, whence she came to California during 1873. By a former 
marriage she became the mother of two children. The son, Frederick, was 
killed at Korbel while in the employ of the railroad, and the daughter, Mary, 
now the wife of Capt. C. C. Hansen, is living at Berkeley. Mrs. Zehndner is 
a member of the Presbyterian Church. 

THEODORE DWIGHT FELT, M. D.— Few residents of Humboldt 
county have enjoyed as great a degree of affectionate esteem among their 
fellow citizens as the late Dr. Theodore Dwight Felt, who was a "forty- 
niner," during his first years in the state a miner, a typical physician of pio- 
neer days and also took a hand in the development of the county's industrial 
resources. An exceptionally skillful physician and surgeon, possessing per- 
sonal courage, and unselfish to a fault in administering aid whenever it 
was needed, Dr. Felt's character won him the love and respect of a wide 
circle of admirers, and his achievements will long be quoted among pioneer 
reminiscences. The period of his practice here covered forty-seven years — ■ 
until his death, although he lived to be over eighty. He maintained a posi- 
tion among the leading members of his profession throughout that time. 

Dr. Felt was a native of Massachusetts, and of old New England stock. 
The family is of English origin, his emigrant ancestor in the paternal line, 
George Felt, having been born in England in 1601, and, according to tradition, 
came to America with John Endicott, who arrived at Salem, Mass., with a 
party of colonists in the year 1628. George Felt's name appears upon the 
town records of Manchester, Mass., in 1633. 

Theodore Dwight Felt was born March 22, 1817, in Everett, and passed 
his early years upon a farm in the western part of Massachusetts. He began 
his education in the district schools, and took up the study of medicine under 
a physician in the locality, later taking a course at the old Transylvania Col- 
lege, Louisville, Ky., from which institution he was graduated. This college 
has since passed out of existence. Surgery seemed to be the branch of his 
work for which he was best fitted by nature, and for several years after his 
graduation he traveled over the eastern and southern states, doing orthopedic 
surgery and operating on crossed eyes, club feet and other deformities. In 
1849 he came out to California, across the plains, and for a time joined the 
search for gold, following mining in Trinity county for two years with en- 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 215 

couraging success. In 1851 he came to Humboldt county and made a loca- 
tion at Hydesville, taking up land ; he was among the original settlers in the 
Eel river valley. Here he found the opportunity to indulge in one of his hob- 
bies, his fondness for horses, and he became interested in raising cattle and 
horses, gaining some reputation for his success with the latter especially. 
His medical training, however, was too valuable in a new country to be 
allowed to go to waste. He and Dr. Jonathan Clark, of Eureka, were then 
the only physicians in the county, and his services were soon in demand all 
over this section. He had the usual experiences of physicians in a new 
country, being called upon at all hours to make trips wherever he was needed. 
He had to travel horseback, and most of his rides were long. There were 
no bridges in those days, rivers and streams being forded, and he was 
known to swim the Eel river on horseback when the water was so high the 
ferryman would not risk taking him over even in a small boat. But he had 
all the conscientious scruples regarding his duty of his New England ances- 
tors, supplemented by a rugged constitution and hardy physique, and he 
could never refuse to visit a sick or injured person because of the physical 
hardships it would entail. It is said he "never found a night too dark, or the 
Indians too numerous or hostile, to prevent him from traveling almost any 
distance to administer to the sick, were the patient rich or poor." The latter 
part of this statement explains much of his popularity and also the thorough 
respect in which all classes held him. He took advantage of the many oppor- 
tunities his profession afforded for assisting the poor and needy, not only 
with his medical services, but with other aid when necessary, and none ever 
had to hesitate about sending for him because of lack of funds to pay for his 
services. His experiences never dulled his sympathies or the generosity of 
his nature — rather they were kept alive by such things. He had the faculty 
of doing the best possible in an emergency, and he saved a man's life on one 
such occasion by improvising a surgeon's saw from an old wood saw, and 
using a butcher knife for cutting, being far from home and without means of 
procuring any regular surgical instruments for the operation — the amputa- 
tion of a man's leg at the hip joint. This readiness was of great value to him 
in the old days especially, and gained him confidence which never waned 
through all the years of his practice. The four different sets of saddle bags 
which he used in his practice in those early years are now the property of 
his son. Dr. Rae Felt. 

In 1871 Dr. Felt sold out his ranch at Hydesville and his practice at 
that point and located at Rohnerville, this county. In 1876 he removed to the 
place now known as Felt's Springs, a piece of property which he had acquired 
on an original grant, where there is a valuable medicinal spring. He imme- 
diately undertook the development of the property, erecting a good hotel 
and a number of cottages, but he had the misfortune to lose them by fire 
within a short time, the loss amounting to about $50,000. This disaster left 
him about $10,000 in debt, but he was undiscouraged and rebuilt before long. 
Again his buildings were destroyed by fire, and he returned to the practice 
of his profession, to which he devoted himself principally thereafter. He 
was located at Rohnerville until he opened an office at Eureka in partnership 
with his son Rae, in 1891, and there he continued to reside and practice the 
rest of his life. He attended to his work regularly, retaining his physical 



216 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

and mental vigor until ten days before his death, which occurred April 8, 
1898, in his eighty-second year. 

In spite of the fact that he was negligent about collecting for his pro- 
fessional services (thousands of dollars owing him were never paid). Dr. 
Felt was a successful man from the worldly standpoint, although he met 
with many losses through no fault of his own. In the early days he recog- 
nized the possibilities of many enterprises, and one of his unfortunate ven- 
tures was a sawmill project which cost him considerable money. He built 
a mill dam on Yager creek, went east and bought machinery for a sawmill, 
and had the misfortune to have his dam washed away before the mill equip- 
ment arrived. It was then in San Francisco, and he paid for it, but the man 
who acted as his agent sold it and disappeared with the proceeds. 

Dr. Felt was a Mason, a member of Eel River Valley Lodge, F. & A. M., 
and was buried with Masonic honors. He was a strong Republican in his 
political views. 

No mention of the Felts would be complete without some reference to 
Mrs. Felt and the noble part she played in her husband's career and in the 
life of the community wherever her lot called her. Her maiden name 
was Catherine Miller, and she was born August 4, 1828, in Philadelphia, Pa., 
where her parents, John and Sarah (Kinsley) Miller, passed all their lives. 
Her father was a glass manufacturer and a prosperous business man. She 
was reared and educated in her native city, and in 1850 came with a brother 
and a sister to Colusa, Cal., where she met Dr. Felt, and where they were 
married June 23, 1851. During their life on the ranch at Hydesville she 
shared all the hardships of pioneer days, doubled by his frequent absences 
on professional trips. The Indians were still numerous, and they often lost 
stock through their depredations, but though Mrs. Felt was frequently left 
alone with her small children, with only a dog for protection, the savages 
seldom molested her. She devoted considerable time to reading medicine and 
familiarizing herself with pharmacy, and thus was able to assist the Doctor 
greatly and to be of real service to many sick people in the neighborhood. 
It is said there was always some poor cripple or invalid staying at their 
house. Truly charitable and benevolent, they gave many a poor emigrant 
food, medicine and clothing, and helped him on his way. Mrs. Felt helped 
her husband also to keep his books, but she admitted it was never easy to 
get him to give her the names and amounts that should have been booked 
from day to day. When his fortune was so seriously impaired by the fires 
above mentioned, she nobly came to his aid by conducting a drug store, at 
Fortuna, which she carried on for several years. After the Doctor's death 
she occupied her home at Eureka, her son Rae and his wife living there with 
her. She was an active member of the Episcopal Church, but her benefactions 
and donations were not confined to her own denomination, for she gave 
towards the building of almost every church in Humboldt county. She died 
June 25, 1914. 

Of the children born to Dr. and Mrs. Felt five survive : Delos, born April 
19, 1853, is a resident of Eureka; Theodore Dwight, born December 25. 1854, 
is a resident of Stockton, Cal. ; De Ette, born August 4, 1856, is the wife of 
George A. Kellogg, of Eureka; Guy, born October 12, 1866, is in charge of 
the drug store at Sequoia Hospital, Eureka; Rae is a practicing physician at 
Eureka, and mentioned in a separate article in this work. 




-rJibyCar^sBEirBtinrs fir^lSstsrin REccySnc 




Oi ^ 




^< 



-^ ^ 0<Xi. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 219 

JOHN JACOB ZEHNDNER.— A native of Germany, coming to the 
United States in 1854, to California in 1859, and having Uved on his present 
home place near Areata since 1868, John Jacob Zehndner is today one of the 
most honored and respected citizens of his community, as well as one of the 
most influential. During his more than half-century of residence in Humboldt 
county he has proven himself to be a man of sterling qualities of heart and 
mind and has been a constant influence for good in the community where he 
has made his home, and a power in the development and upbuilding of this 
section. He has seen the changing of the county from a wilderness, terror- 
ized by marauding bands of Indians, to a land of peace and plenty and beauti- 
ful homes, and in all this he has been a part, contributing his full share in 
labor, encouragement and faith. His home place is today one of the best 
kept and most attractive in the community, and is a credit both to its owner 
and to the town. 

Mr. Zehndner was born near Baireuth, Bavaria, Germany, January 15, 
1833, the son of Nicholas and Margaret (Beilein) Zehndner, his father being 
a wealthy farmer of that section. He was given the best schooling that Ger- 
many afforded at that time, and remained at home with his parents until he 
was twenty-one. He then came to the United States to visit a brother who 
lived at Fort Wayne, Ind., and has since that time (1854) made his home in 
this country. At Fort Wayne he took up the cooper's trade, becoming a pro- 
ficient workman in this line, also worked at contracting and clearing land, 
and for a short time engaged in farming. 

It was in 1859 that Mr. Zehndner came to California to make his home. 
Another brother, George Zehndner, was at that time residing in Humboldt 
county, and the reports sent back by him made the younger brother anxious 
to visit the new acquisition on the coast. Accordingly he made the long 
journey, leaving New York and sailing down the coast to Aspinwall, whence 
he crossed the Isthmus of Panama, and there set sail for San Francisco on 
the John L. Stevens, arriving there March 17, 1859. Going at once to Eureka 
by the water route, he was soon located on Angels ranch, the property of his 
brother, the ranch consisting of stock and hill ranges and being located some 
distance back in the mountains. Mr. Zehndner remained here for several 
years in the employ of his brother, but the isolated location of the ranch in- 
vited the attacks of the savages, and in the spring of 1862, while there was 
much trouble with the Indians generally, they swept down upon Angels ranch 
and destroyed and carried off everything on the place. The only hope for 
safety for the dwellers thereon lay in flight and the abandonment of the 
property, and on March 22 they left their home and went down to the coast 
near Areata, where they remained for a year. During these troubles Mr. 
Zehndner himself was never actually engaged in any of the skirmishes with 
the Indians, but his brother George received the baptism of their fire on 
several occasions. 

The trouble with the Indians continued along the coast, and in 1863 Mr. 
Zehndner determined to seek a locality where such trouble could be avoided. 
Accordingly, with two other young men, he decided to go to the Washoe 
Territory, now Nevada, making the journey across the mountains on horse- 
back. The way was rough and dangerous, but the trip was full of interest. 
The first night they camped at Lyscum Hill, the next evening they reached 
Hoopa, and the following night they spent at a ranch near Trinity river. 



220 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

•From there they proceeded to Weaverville, then on to Red Bluff, and from 
Red Bluff to Oroville, from which point they crossed the Sierra Nevada moun- 
tains to Washoe City. Arrived at their destination, Mr. Zehndner found work 
in the woods, remaining in this occupation for two years, and for the two 
following years worked on a farm near Washoe City. While living here he 
took out naturalization papers and became a citizen of the United States. 

In 1867 Mr. Zehndner received word from his brother to return to Hum- 
boldt county and take charge of Angels ranch, in order that the latter might 
go to the old home in Germany for a visit, and accordingly Mr. Zehndner 
returned to California, and has since that time made his home continuously 
in Humboldt county. The brother was in the Fatherland for a year (1867- 
1868), and shortly after his return Air. Zehndner purchased his present home 
place of sixty-eight acres a short distance from Areata. This is all improved 
land, situated in Areata bottom and is especially well adapted for dairy farm- 
ing, which line is the one followed at the present time. During his long resi- 
dence on this property Mr. Zehndner has taken the greatest pride in keeping 
up his home, which is one of the most carefully kept places in the valley. He 
has spared neither effort nor expense in keeping it so, and is justly proud of 
the result of his labors. For many years after purchasing this property he 
engaged in clearing and improving the land, and it was in 1892 that he became 
especially interested in dairying, and since the organization of the creamery, 
toward which he was one of the first subscribers, he has been interested in 
that enterprise. He was the treasurer of the creamery at the time that A. N. 
Hunt was interested in the same, and in fact held this position until the con- 
solidation of the several creameries under one head. The interests of Mr. 
Zehndner in agriculture and his ability in this line were recognized many 
years ago as was evidenced by his appointment in 1889 as United States horti- 
cultural commissioner for this section, being the first appointee to that posi- 
tion. Mr. Zehndner is deeply interested in the subject of forestry, his 
interest finding expression in the raising of eucalyptus trees on two hundred 
acres of land at McKinleyville. There he is endeavoring to demonstrate to 
the people of Humboldt county the practicability of raising the blue-gum 
trees for all purposes, hardwood piling and for building wharves. Without 
doubt Mr. Zehndner is engaged in a work that will ultimately mean much 
toward furthering the future prosperity of the county and will be of ines- 
timable value to future generations. 

In fraternal circles Mr. Zehndner is one of the most prominent and 
influential men in this section of the state. He has been a member of the 
Odd Fellows since October, 1867, having joined that order in Areata as a 
member of Anniversary Lodge No. 85, I. O. O. F. When the lodge was first 
organized he was one of the most faithful members, never failing in his 
attendance at all meetings, either for wind or weather, and has since then 
always been an active and a faithful member of the lodge. In 1870 he had 
advanced in the chairs of the lodge, and was at that time noble grand, and in 
1889 was appointed deputy grand master of district No. 29. He has truly been 
prominent in Odd Fellowship, having at eight different times been representa- 
tive to the grand lodge, and he also holds membership in the Rebekahs and 
the Veteran Odd Fellows Association in San Francisco. Mr. Zehndner has 
always been musically inclined, and for years he has filled positions as tenor 
singer in choirs in Areata. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 221 

In politics Mr. Zehndner is a progressive Republican. He is well in- 
formed and an independent thinker, and is always to be found on the side 
of progress and general upbuilding of the community and of the municipality, 
regardless of party lines and affiliations. 

The marriage of Mr. Zehndner took place in Areata December 2, 1875, 
uniting him with Miss Louisa May Rossow, who was born in Prussia, Ger- 
many, January 13, 1849, and who died at Areata June 7, 1904. Her parents 
were farmers in the old country, and she lived at home with them until she 
was twenty-one, at which time she came to California. After remaining a few 
years in New York she came to California, where she was shortly afterwards 
married. Mrs. Zehndner bore her husband four children, three sturdy sons 
and a daughter. They are : George N., who is running the home dairy ranch ; 
Theodore H., an electrician at Niles ; Edward A., who is at Chowchilla; and 
Louise Mary, Mrs. McClasky. All of the children are well and favorably 
known in Areata, where they were born, reared and educated, and where they 
have many warm friends. 

IRA B. THOMSON. — Throughout the thirty-six years of his residence 
in California Mr. Thomson has been a citizen of Humboldt county, most of 
the time living at Eureka, where he is one of the most successful of the local 
representatives of the building trades. That he has had a creditable share 
of the construction work in the town is shown by the many substantial build- 
ings, principally residences, which he has put up, and which in workmanship 
and convenience will compare with any in the city. At present he has under 
way the new Christian Science church, and other important contracts show 
the extent to which he is trusted by those who have had the opportunity of 
observing his work and its permanent character. 

Mr. Thomson is a native of western Pennsylvania, born ten miles north- 
west of Newcastle, in Lawrence county, where his ancestors settled in the 
early part of the last century. He is of the fourth generation of his family 
in this country, his great-grandfather, Alexander Thomson, of Scotch descent, 
having come hither from the north of Ireland. His son, Alexander, grandfather 
of Ira B. Thomson, was the pioneer of this line in western Pennsylvania, 
settling in the neighborhood already mentioned, two miles east of the Ohio 
line. He was a militia captain, and as such took part in the battle of Lundy's 
Lane during the war of 1812. 

Robert Thomson, father of Ira B. Thomson, was a house carpenter, and 
in his day was considered a first-class builder. He lived on the old homestead 
settled by his father, and died there in his ninetieth year. By his first wife, 
Betsey McClain, a native of Mercer county. Pa., he had a family of eight 
children, of whom Robert was the youngest ; the eldest brother, Albert E. 
Thomson, was a minister, and at one time supplied the Congregational church 
at Eureka for three months ; another brother, John S. Thomson, well known 
as "Honest John," a resident of this section, a former county clerk, and for 
two terms assessor of old Klamath county, is buried at Areata, Humboldt 
county; a third brother, Joseph A. Thomson, was at one time associate judge 
of old Klamath county, and he, too, is buried at Areata. Two of the daughters 
of Robert Thomson's first marriage survive. Mrs. Betsey Thomson died 
when forty-five years old, and Mr. Thomson remarried, having five children 
by the second union ; of these one son and one daughter still survive. The 
mother died ten years ago. 



222 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Ira B Thomson was born August 17, 1845. He was five years old when 
his mother died, but his stepmother was kind to him and treated him as one 
of her own, and he had a good home in his boyhood. He was reared on his 
father's farm near the Ohio line in western Pennsylvania. He had such advan- 
tages as the common schools of the day afforded, helped with the farm work 
at-home, and learned house carpentry under the tuition of his father, also 
acquiring a considerable knowledge of cabinetmaking. When twenty-five 
years old he left home, going to Iowa, where he followed farming on his own 
account, owning one hundred and twenty acres of land near Washington. 
There he was married, October 8, 1874, to Miss Jessie B. Knox, and in 1878 
came to Humboldt county, Cal, with his family. For the first two years they 
lived at Areata, where Mr. Thomson found work at his trade and in a sawmill, 
in 1880 removing to Eureka, where he has resided continuously since. The 
two years immediately following he worked for Mr. Simpson, a contractor, 
the next three years for Mr. Butterfield, also a contractor, and since 1885 
he has been contracting and building on his own responsibility. Mr. Thomson 
has made a specialty of residence work, doing jobbing as well as contracting, 
and has made it his business to keep abreast of the times, giving his patrons 
the benefit of the innovations and improvements which have revolutionized 
modern standards of living and housekeeping during the three decades that 
he has been an independent builder. His ideas on utilizing space, on con- 
scientious, substantial construction, artistic arrangement and the economy of 
introducing conveniences have come to be appreciated by particular patrons 
until he is now regarded as one of the leading men in his line in the city. 
Among the residences he has erected may be mentioned those of G. W. 
Hunter, C. H. Connick, John Connick, Charles Fitzell and E. S. Murray. The 
building of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, which he is now putting up 
at the corner of Eleventh and H streets, is valued at $9,000. 

As a citizen Mr. Thomson has been as much of a success as in his busi- 
ness relations. He is well known among the Odd Fellows, having passed all 
the chairs in the local lodge and been a member of the grand lodge. He 
assisted in the organization of the Presbyterian church at Eureka, was one 
of its first elders, and has continued to hold the office ever since by re-election, 
being one of the most esteemed members of the congregation. Every local 
movement promising to benefit the majority of his fellow citizens receives his 
hearty support. 

Mrs. Thomson was born in Ohio, daughter of William and Mary E. 
(Short) Knox. Like her husband she is a prominent member of the Presby- 
terian church, taking an active part in the work of the Ladies' Aid Society, and 
is also interested in Odd Fellowship, having joined the Rebekah degree, in 
which she has passed all the chairs. Two children have been born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Thomson, Frank L. and Edna V., the daughter now married to 
C. C. Turner, an electrician, at present living in Schenectady, N. Y. ; they have 
one child, Carlton Covey. Frank L. Thomson is an accomplished and licensed 
architect, a graduate of the Armour Institute at Chicago, 111., where he spent 
four 3'ears after completing his course, and he has also followed his profession 
in Texas for five years. His attainments and special training make him one 
of the most competent men in his line in this region. He is now residing 
with his parents at Eureka, the family home being at No. 1134 J street. 




^^-^A-^^ir-^-^c,.^z^^<; ^'c^^^"''^2<?^'^-<5-^ 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 225 

THOMAS HINCH. — The life which gave visible expression to the mind 
and spirit of Thomas Hinch began in 1838 in a humble Canadian home near 
the lumber woods of Enterprise, became identified with California through a 
westward trip via Panama in 1863, and came to an end on earth February 23, 
1913, after an association of almost fifty years with Humboldt county. With- 
out question one of the best-known men of Eureka, he was also highly honored 
for devotion to duty, stanchness in friendship and capacity for business 
affairs. One of his leading characteristics was his faith in the future of 
Humboldt county. No one surpassed him in optimistic views concerning 
local affairs and this enthusiasm continued unabated in times of stringency 
as well as in seasons of prosperity, his first thought always being for the 
advancement of those enterprises which represented so large a part of his 
life. Inheriting from a sturdy Canadian parentage the qualities noticeable in 
that people, he added to these the self-restraint and discipline learned through 
hardships and contact with an unfavorable environment. His life-work was 
based upon principles of justice to himself and others, and an unswerving 
integrity characterized all of his transactions. 

From 1863 to 1865 a resident of San Francisco, principally engaged in 
teaming, during the latter year Mr. Hinch came to Humboldt county and 
took up land on the Elk river about six miles south of Eureka, where he 
gradually drifted into the dairy business. At that time no roads had been 
opened to his farm and he had to haul through the woods all of the lumber 
used in the building of his ranch-house and barns. Ultimately he became the 
owner of three ranches in the same neighborhood. Developing the land from 
its primeval condition, he made it a source of profit and even at the present 
time these holdings still remain in the possession of the family. During 1873 
he left the country and moved into Eureka, where he started a grocery on 
the corner of California and Cedar streets. Later the firm of Hinch, Salmon 
& Walch was organized. In a few years he sold out his interests to his 
partners and embarked in the real estate business, buying lots, building 
houses and selling on the installment plan, an enterprise justified by his 
faith in the city and by subsequent results. The children of his first wife, 
who was a Miss Spratt of Canada, were named as follows : Alargaret, the 
wife of Thomas Shanahan ; William J., an employe of the Hammond Lumber 
Company ; Edward and John, both of Oakland ; Elizabeth, who married Elmer 
Young, of Scotia ; and Joseph, of Oakland. The second marriage united him 
with Miss Mary Lynch, a native of Dundee, Scotland, who, with their chil- 
dren, Vera, Thomas and Eugene, survives him, occupying the old homestead 
at No. 1610 California street, and who is at the head of a home life and social 
connection permeated with the spirit coming from long association with high 
ideals. 

PETER BELCHER. — During more than forty years of continuous asso- 
ciation with the business life of Eureka, Peter Belcher has had various inter- 
ests here, and for some time has been giving a large share of his attention to 
the affairs of the Eureka Pavement Company, of which he is president. In its 
operations at Eureka this concern has laid enough pavement in the town 
to have its workmanship and reliability thoroughly tested, and the fact that it 
continues to receive a good proportion of the contracts in that line is a sub- 
stantial recommendation. In 1886 Mr. Belcher started the abstract business 
which was later incorporated as the Belcher & Crane Company, abstracters. 

3 



226 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

When their business was taken over by the Redwood Land & Investment 
Company he remained as manager of the abstract and insurance department 
until he repurchased the entire plant and is now sole owner, having the 
largest business of the kind in northern California. 

The Belchers have been established in America from the Colonial period, 
several generations of the family having lived in New York state, where one 
of the name started an iron foundry in 1766, at what was then known as 
"Belcher's Forge," on the Ramapo river, now included in Tuxedo park. John 
Belcher, father of Peter Belcher, was born in Orange county, N. Y., and was 
there reared and married. After his marriage he followed farming and 
teaming in that county for a number of years. In 1857 he went out to Wis- 
consin and obtained possession of a pine timber tract, but sold it after three 
or four years. Meantime his family had moved to Paterson, N. J., where he 
joined them, and he passed the remainder of his life at that place, dying in 
1903, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. He did mason work after 
settling there, became a contractor and builder and was one of the most 
popular men in his line, getting a large share of the public work. At one 
time, late in life, he was superintendent of the sewer system in the city. His 
family consisted of fourteen children, of whom Peter was the eldest. 

Peter Belcher was born December 23, 1839, at Sloatsburg, Rockland 
county, N. Y., and had very limited school advantages. His parents having a 
very large family it behooved him to support himself and assist them as soon 
as possible, and when he was fourteen he left home to begin work for others, 
beginning as a farm hand. By self-study he was enabled to pass an exam- 
ination entitling him to a teacher's certificate when he was eighteen years old. 
During the two winters preceding his immigration to California he taught 
district school in Passaic county, N. J., at what is now known as Hewitt, so 
named for Abram S. Hewitt, of New York City, Peter Cooper's successor in 
the ownership and control of the iron works located there. In 1860 Mr. 
Belcher came to California, armed with recommendations from influential 
people in New York as to his reliable qualities. But he had to make his way 
on his own achievements, every man being judged in the new country by 
what he was worth to the community and standing on the merits of his 
conduct in his relations with his fellow men. He began work in the employ 
of Adams, Blinn & Co., of San Francisco, burning lime in Marin county, and 
was thus engaged through the summer of 1860. In the fall of that year he 
moved to Knight's Ferry, Stanislaus county, and for the several years fol- 
lowing mined during the winter months and worked on ranches in the sum- 
mer. He visited various mining fields in the hope of bettering his luck, work- 
ing on the Reese river, in Nevada county, and on the John Days river in 
Oregon. For one summer he farmed in the Willamette valley. In 1864 he 
returned to California, mined that winter at Mameluke Hill, in Placer county, 
and in the spring of 1865 went to work on the Central Pacific Railroad, near 
Auburn. His health having been affected by the vitiated air of the mines and 
tunnels in which he had operated he contracted fever and had to give up 
railroad work. For some time he was engaged as a miner in the Union mines 
at Copperopolis, Calaveras county, and when they closed down he went to 
Telegraph City and kept store for a- year. Subsequently he did a commission 
business at Stockton, Cal., and was again attacked by fever, which made him 
decide to get nearer to the coast, where he could have the benefit of sea air. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 227 

On October 1, 1870, he arrived at Eureka, in Humboldt county, where he began 
his business career as a clerk for R. M. Williams & Co., wholesale grocers 
and commission merchants, with whom he remained one year. He and Thomas 
Cutler then entered into partnership and purchased the stock of R. M. Williams 
& Co., and for some time did a wholesale commission business as Cutler & 
Belcher and Cutler, Belcher & Co. They handled large quantities of potatoes, 
the principal crop of Humboldt county, but the unstable values and unfavor- 
able market conditions proved the undoing of the firm, and Mr. Belcher dis- 
posed of his interest therein. During the next ten years he was in the employ 
of W. H. Johnston, a leading hardware dealer of Eureka, as manager, begin- 
ning business on his own account when he severed that connection. He 
founded the business afterward conducted by the Belcher & Crane Company 
and the Redwood Land & Investment Company, making abstracts of title 
and dealing in real estate and insurance. After doing business alone for six 
years he formed the association with A. T. Crane, under the firm name of 
Belcher & Crane, which lasted for four years, and in February, 1890, Belcher & 
Crane became an incorporated concern, under the name of Belcher & Crane 
Company. On June 1st of the same year they sold all their interest in the 
abstract, real estate and insurance business to the Redwood Land & Invest- 
ment Company, in which Mr. Belcher purchased a one-fifth interest, becom- 
ing one of the directors of the new organization. However, the abstract busi- 
ness was conducted as the Belcher & Crane Company as of yore. He was also 
appointed manager of the abstract and insurance department, and held that 
position until the company discontinued business in 1906. Mr. Belcher then 
purchased the old corporation and abstract business of the Belcher & Crane 
Company from the Redwood Land & Investment Company, and since then 
has continued as sole proprietor. He is president of the company, while his 
son I. R. is secretary. They hold most of the patronage in this part of the 
state, being the largest abstract company on the Pacific coast north of San 
Francisco, and require the help of over twelve assistants in the conduct of 
their extensive business. 

The Eureka Pavement Company, in which Mr. Belcher's chief interest 
now centers, enjoys a high reputation in this region as the result of substan- 
tial construction work in its line. For a number of years Air. Belcher was 
financial manager of the concern, in which he is one of the principal stock- 
holders, and he is now its president. This company has had contracts for 
fifty-five blocks of paving in Eureka, and also did the paving on Main street, 
in Ferndale, Humboldt county, as well as eleven blocks in Marshfield, Ore. 

In the prosecution of his private business Mr. Belcher has naturally be- 
come familiar with industrial and commercial conditions in Eureka to an 
extent not possible to many, and he has great faith in her future. He has 
been public-spirited in the encouragement and substantial support of all 
projects looking to her improvement, w^hether from the material or social 
standpoint. His progressive stand on questions affecting the general welfare 
has been shown by his fidelity to the best interests of the town in settling 
matters pertaining to education, and the improvement of living conditions. 
He is respected for his own creditable career, which has been successful be- 
cause of his untiring industry in whatever he undertakes, continued some- 
times in the face of discouragements which would dishearten a man of weak 
spirit. He has taken considerable part in the administration of city govern- 



228 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

ment, having been a member of the board of education one term, a city coun- 
cilnian for one term, and chief of the fire department for two terms. Though 
a Republican on questions regarding the national policy, Mr. Belcher is thor- 
oughly nonpartisan in local affairs, believing that the city is best served by 
the man best qualified, without taking any account of his political associa- 
tions. Fraternally he holds membership in the Masons (belonging to Hum- 
boldt Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M.), which he joined in 1879; the Odd Fellows 
(Humboldt Lodge No. 17, L O. O. F.), which he joined in 1866, and the 
Knights of Pythias (Lincoln Lodge No. 34) ; altogether he served about 
twenty-five years as Master of Exchequer of the local organization of the last- 
named and during this time Pythian Castle was built on Fourth street. He 
is past officer in the Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias, and served as trustee 
of L O. O. F. Hall Association at the time of the building of the L O. O. F. 
hall, corner of Second and F streets. 

Mr. Belcher was married at Telegraph City, Calaveras county, in 1868, to 
Miss Ella Breckenridge, a native of Kentucky. They have had a family of 
five children: George H., who is vice-president of the Bank of Eureka; Frank 
W., who was connected with the Savings Bank of Humboldt and now engaged 
in the real estate and insurance business ; Lottie, wife of David W. Evans ; 
I. R., manager of the Belcher & Crane Company, Eureka ; and Merton, who 
received his higher education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 
Boston, Mass., and is now assistant cashier of the Humboldt County Bank. 

D. CLINTON SCOTT.— The changes of more than three decades have 
wrought their transformations in the material aspect and in the population 
of Humboldt county since ended the earthly activities of the honored pioneer, 
Dr. Scott, who as one of the first to engage in dental practice along the coast 
of Northern California, as a man of civic prominence, as a faithful official and 
progressive citizen, left the impress of his forceful personality upon the com- 
munity of his adoption. A native of Pennsylvania, he became a California 
settler of the early '50s and was attracted to the mines by reason of the 
great excitement connected with the discovery of gold. Besides trying his 
luck in the mines of Placer county he served there as deputy county clerk 
and deputy assessor. It was not, however, his desire to devote his entire 
life to mining enterprises or deputyships ; he had an ambition to fit himself 
for dentistry. In pursuit of that purpose he went to San Francisco and took 
a thorough course in the dental profession, having the advantages of con- 
siderable experimental work and actual practice in that city. 

Upon coming to Eureka in 1866 Dr. Scott opened an office and soon 
gained considerable practice, for he was the pioneer dentist of the town and 
his skilled work won for him a wide professional popularity. While devoting 
his time closely to practice he did not neglect any duty that falls upon a 
public-spirited citizen. Recognizing his fine business ability, impartiality of 
judgment and devotion of citizenship, the people selected him to serve as 
county treasurer of Humboldt county, also as police judge and justice of the 
peace, and he continued at the helm of public affairs until his death, which 
occurred January 27, 1882. For years prior to his demise he had been identi- 
fied with Masonry. Surviving him were two daughters, Mrs. Eloise Pettin- 
gill and Mrs. Mabel Skinner, and his wife, who bore the maiden name of 
Virginia C. McDaniel and had crossed the plains in 1852 from her native 
Virginia, in 1867 becoming a resident of Humboldt county, where she still 
makes her home. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 231 

LOUIS THOMPSON KINSEY.— Especial interest attaches to the 
lives of the native sons of the west, the men who in early years became 
familiar with privations and inured to hardships ; who through intelligent 
foresight rose from poverty to independence ; whose friends have increased 
in nvimber with the passing years and now give honor and companionship 
to the pioneers identified with the beginnings of a western civilization. One 
of the influential men now residing in Eureka is Louis Thompson Kinsey, 
whose birth occurred in Siskiyou county, this state, December 17, 1852, 
and who has been familiar with the growth of Humboldt county from his 
early childhood, contributing after he attained manhood to the development 
of local resources. 

A son of the late Charles and Annie F. (Cornog) Kinsey, natives of 
Pennsylvania, Mr. Kinsey is a member of a pioneer family, for his father 
crossed the plains during the summer of 1850, settled temporarily at The 
Dalles, Ore., thence came to California in 1852, and engaged in mining and 
stock-raising in Siskiyou county. On coming to Humboldt county in 1857 
he drove a band of two hundred head of cattle across the mountains and 
took up range land suitable for the pasturage of the stock. It was not 
until 1878 that he disposed of his stock and retired from the business. 
Thereafter he lived in retirement from business cares. His death occurred 
February 22, 1900, at the age of eighty-seven years. During young man- 
hood Louis T. Kinsey became closely identified with official affairs. For 
three terms he filled the position of county treasurer with recognized 
efficiency and for one term he served as county clerk. Appointed mayor of 
Eureka to fill an unexpired term, he later was chosen for the office by the 
vote of the people. 

While the filling of important offices has taken much of the time of 
Mr. Kinsey, his principal interests in the world of affairs have been in con- 
nection with banking and stock-raising. He was one of the original stock- 
holders of the Bank of Eureka and its associate, the Savings Bank of Hum- 
boldt County, and served these institutions as assistant cashier, cashier, and 
in later years filled the ofhce of vice-president of the Bank of Eureka, and 
president of the Savings Bank of Humboldt County. 

Mr. Kinsey is a firm believer in the future advancement of Eureka, 
which he has seen develop from a town of one street to a city of consid- 
erable dimensions, and believing also in the future of the back country, he 
has given practical evidence of his faith by making investments in local 
property and at this writing owns a stock ranch of four thousand acres 
located in the southern part of Humboldt county. Besides his holdings in 
the county he owns a valuable ranch near Kenwood, Sonoma county, and 
is a stockholder in the large land holdings of Mott & Co., of Oakland. 
Fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows and has been a member 
of the Knights of Pythias since 1876. By his marriage in 1872, to Miss 
Jennie Hart he has an only son, Charles H. Kinsey, whose sketch will be 
found on another page. Mrs. Kinsey is a native of California and a member 
of one of the earliest American families of the state, for her maternal grand- 
parents, Moses A. Meader and his wife, both Vermonters, left the east 
early in 1846, and sailed in a vessel around Cape Horn, landing in San 
Francisco some years before that port had become the destination of gold- 
seekers from every section of the world. 



232 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

CASPER STINEMETS RICKS.— The name of Ricks is so intimately 
associated with the history of Eureka and Humboldt county generally that no 
annals of that region could be written without mention of members of the 
family, nor could any biography of Casper Stinemets Ricks be anything but 
part of the story of the opening up and development of that part of California 
where he came as a "forty-niner." It was principally through his influence 
that the county seat was established at Eureka, and there was hardly a citizen 
of the town who did more to place its affairs in such excellent condition that 
it has thrived from the start. He represented his district faithfully in the 
state legislature, served as district attorney of Humboldt county, handled 
his extensive business affairs with consummate ability, and worked untiringly 
for the early establishment at Eureka of such institutions as he knew there 
would be need for in the future. Though it is a quarter of a century since he 
passed from earth, his work lives and has stood the test of time. 

Mr. Ricks was a native of Indiana, born November 10, 1821, at Rome, 
Perry county, son of John W. Ricks, who had settled in Indiana when a 
young man. His early life had been passed in Kentucky, where he was 
born February 7, 1795. He was a prosperous merchant in Perry county, 
owning stores at five different points in that section, from which it may 
be inferred that he was ahead of his generation in enterprise, his business 
record sounding very modern indeed. His career was cut short at the com- 
paratively early age of thirty-seven years, his death occurring in 1832. Mr. 
Ricks was not only an energetic business man, but an earnest worker in the 
Baptist Church, and as an exhorter exercised great moral influence among 
his fellow men. His wife, Louisa Stinemets (originally spelled Steinmetz, 
member of a Pennsylvania family), born in 1800, continued to live at Rome 
after her husband's death and died there in 1865. She, too, was a faithful 
member of the Baptist Church, and a devoted mother to her eight children, 
all of whom were young at the time of Mr. Ricks' death. We have the follow- 
ing record of this family: Casper Stinemets was the eldest; Ellen died in 
childhood; William died in 1850; Louisa married Burl Lea and died at the 
age of thirty-eight years ; Samuel H. is deceased ; John W. came to Eureka 
in 1853, but lived here only a short time, dying in San Francisco when 
seventy-four years old; Susan, wife of Hiram Carr, died in 1900; Thomas, the 
youngest, born in 1831, joined his brother Casper at Eureka in 1851 and was 
given an interest in the business; in 1863 he returned to his old home in 
Indiana to marry and soon afterward started with his bride for Eureka. From 
San Francisco they took passage on the schooner Dashaway, which was lost 
at sea with all on board. 

Casper Stinemets Ricks attended school until fifteen years old, when he 
commenced work as a dish washer on the flatboats plying the Ohio and Mis- 
sissippi rivers. He was thrifty, and saved as much as possible, within a few 
years having enough to buy an interest in a flatboat which he retained until 
1842. That year he went to New Orleans and engaged in the lumber and 
commission business, and with the exception of a short period during which 
he was superintendent of a sawmill at Natchez he continued it until 1849, 
doing well. But the gold fever took him in 1849, and he set out for San 
Francisco, by way of the isthmus. He had bought his ticket from New 
Orleans to his destination, but through some mistake had received trans- 
portation only to Panama. Here he was initiated into the conditions then 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 233 

prevailing- on the coast, for he had to pay $600 for a steerage passage to San 
Francisco, and was offered $800 for it before he had a chance to sail. He 
refused the offer, and arrived at San Francisco August 18, 1849, going at 
once to the gold fields in Yuba county, where he mined for about four months. 
He had fair success, but although he also had mining interests subsequently 
from time to time he never did a great deal in that line. In the spring of 
1850 he entered Humboldt county at Trinidad in his search for the mouth of 
Trinity river. While he and the captain were ashore the schooner was driven 
back to sea and the men were obliged to live with the Indians until they 
started to walk to the site of Eureka, a distance of thirty-six miles. After- 
wards the discovery of Humboldt bay was reported. The schooner was recov- 
ered and returned to the captain, who went away in it, but Mr. Ricks re- 
mained, and it is claimed that he was the first white man to remain perma- 
nently in Eureka. The region was then a wilderness. Later, in partnership 
with R. G. Crozier, under the name of Crozier & Ricks, he embarked in gen- 
eral merchandising, and these men soon foresaw the advantages of the loca- 
tion, acquiring an undivided half-interest in the new townsite. Mr. Ricks 
soon purchased his partner's share, however, and within a short time had 
begun his active campaigning for attracting thither desirable business enter- 
prises, such as the town needed, by offering them advantages which he knew 
were substantial. In 1854 he attended a session of the legislature to work 
for the location of the town site, doing much to secure the passage of the act 
"to provide for the disposal of lots in the towns and villages on the public 
lands of Humboldt county." Mr. Ricks had judged the value of the location 
properly, although it was covered with forest when he arrived here. Feeling 
that it could have no logical rival on the bay, he exerted himself to the utmost 
to begin its development early, and though his farsighted plans sometimes 
seemed larger than conditions would warrant at the time they were laid, time 
has shown that he did not overestimate the possibilities of the town or its 
adjacent territory. In 1855 he represented Humboldt county in the state 
legislature, and at the close of his term was re-elected, undoubtedly in recog- 
nition of his services in securing the passage of the act transferring the county 
seat from Uniontown (now Areata) to Eureka, which was successful prin- 
cipally because of his efforts. It was in 1861 that he received the appointment 
of district attorney of Humboldt county, to fill an unexpired term, and he 
acquitted himself creditably in that position. 

In the spring of 1862 Mr. Ricks determined to make another mining 
venture, and in company with sixteen other men equally ambitious and daring 
set out for the Salmon mines. His diary shows that they left Lewiston 
April 29th, and the many interesting items which follow make good reading 
and reminiscences, but the experiences to which they allude could hardly 
have contributed to keep up the spirits of travelers in a wilderness going 
away from civilization, and with no prospects of any alleviation of their 
hardships for weeks to come. A pack train owned by James Boon and N. B. 
Brown took them to the Mountain house, the packing costing thirty cents a 
pound. The second day out a horse stampeded, swam the Snake river, and 
lost a hundred pounds of flour. The principal fare of the party consisted of 
tea, bread, beans and bacon, with molasses made from sugar. Several Indian 
farms were passed on the way, and occasionally they could buy milk from 
tbe farmers, who refused, however, to sell beef except at exorbitant prices. 



234 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Mr. Ricks mentions borrowing a needle and thread from a squaw at one of 
the Indian ranches, to mend his suspenders, and the note that he saw where 
she made butter but did not have any of it to eat sounds rather wistful. On 
May 11th they traveled fifteen miles up the Salmon river, and met forty 
or fifty men returning from the mines rather discouraged. In the evening 
a severe wind and rain storm came up, and the discomfort after a hard day's 
journey (judging from his notes) seems to have made Mr. Ricks homesick, 
though he evidently did not indulge this feeling long, as in the next paragraph 
he relates that "the trip may prove beneficial" by making him thankful for 
his comforts at home. On May 16th he arrived at Florence, where he met 
friends and had a substantial supper, bread, bacon, fresh beef, cofifee, dried 
apples and sugar. He refers to Florence as a mining town with a few log 
buildings and a population of five thousand men. He mentions cooking the 
meals, doing his washing and sewing, and in fact kept a record which throws 
much light on the typical life of prospectors and miners in the early days. 
The expressage on ietters was $1 each. On June 10th Mr. Ricks bought the 
Starrar claim, for which he paid $1,150 and in which he gave an interest to 
his brother Samuel. He made some money getting out gold, but sold the 
mine a week or two later, he and his partner making about $250 on the claim. 
Subsequently he had interests in others, as he mentions one which paid but 
little, and the good bargain he made selling another. His diary closes August 
9th, the date of his arrival in San Francisco. 

Returning to Eureka, ^Ir. Ricks was soon busily engaged with his busi- 
ness affairs once more, devoting most of his attention to the improvement 
of his large holdings of real estate in the town. He erected and owned 
more buildings than any other man of his day there, including a number of 
fine residences and business blocks, but did not confine his activities to this 
line, doing much incidental improving which benefited the whole place. He 
built the Ricks waterworks, including the elevated reservoir, which was sup- 
plied with water from artesian wells distributed by steam power through 
nine miles of piping to the business parts of Eureka. The Palace stables, still 
owned by his heirs, were built and stocked by him. The development of the 
lumbering industry in this region was prosecuted very successfully through 
his wise counsel, and its profitable operations not only proved a desirable 
investment for capital, but added to the general wealth by providing employ- 
ment for many men in this part of the state, and enlivened commercial enter- 
prises accordingly. Mr. Ricks donated land for a number of public causes 
which he also supported with his financial means when necessary, and he 
not only started some of the most serviceable projects, but was ever liberal 
in lending his aid and influence to those promoted by others. Through his 
efforts inducements were ofifered to manufacturing enterprises to locate here, 
and he never lost faith in the future of the city, even when hard times threat- 
ened to engulf it. Many undertakings which he knew could not give him 
returns on his investment for years, but which were highly desirable, wei^ 
fostered by him in the early stages of their existence, because he was public- 
spirited enough to wait for his own rewards in order to give many the benefits 
to be obtained. 

Mr. Ricks was frequently called upon to serve in public trusts, to which 
he invariably gave the same care that he devoted to his private interests. 
He was a member and president of the first board of trustees of Eureka, 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 235 

and president of the first fire company^ which was organized in 1864. He 
belonged to the Humboldt County Pioneers' Association and to the State 
Pioneers' Society, and fraternally was a prominent Odd Fellow. A Democrat 
in his political convictions, he enjoyed politics and was one of the influential 
party workers in his section, his ability as a speaker making him a valuable 
factor in campaigns. J\lr. Ricks died in his sixty-seventh year, June 21, 1888, 
at San Francisco, and on June 28th was laid to rest in Eureka cemetery, the 
Odd Fellows conducting the funeral services. The wide range of his sym- 
pathies and interests could easily be judged by the throng which attended, 
the largest gathering ever known in Eureka up to that time, representing 
citizens of all classes from his home town and surrounding points. His sons 
took up his work where he left it, and their records speak well for the heritage 
of character and substantial qualities which he bequeathed to them. 

Mr. Ricks returned to Indiana to marry Miss Adaline Amelia Fonts, 
their wedding taking place June 4, 1854. She was born February 16, 1829, 
in Clark county,* that state, daughter of Jacob Fonts and granddaughter of 
Jacob and Mary Fonts, who came to this country from Germany before the 
Revolution and settled in North Carolina. There Jacob Fonts, father of Mrs. 
Ricks, was born October 17, 1775, and passed his early life. In 1806 he 
settled in Clark county, Ind., where he took up a large tract of land and 
followed farming very successfully until his death, December 27, 1836. He 
was drafted for military service during the Indian troubles, by General Har- 
rison, but having a large family of small children hired a substitute. Politically 
he was a Democrat, but not active in the party or in public afifairs of any 
kind. His first wife, Isabel Dugan, of North Carolina, died in early woman- 
hood, leaving two sons, Angus and Edward, the former of whom was in 
business for many years at Lexington, Ind., as a merchant; he died at the age 
of forty-eight years. Edward died in August, 1854. 

March 5, 1807, in Clark county, Ind., Mr. Fonts married for his second 
wife Susanna Fonts, who was born in North Carolina June 1, 1787. Although 
bearing the same surname, she was not a relative, her parents, Jacob and 
Isabel Fonts, having been born and reared in Pennsylvania, going from there 
to North Carolina, and then to Clark county, Ind., where the father was 
profitably engaged in loaning money until his death, at the age of sixty-eight 
years. His wife survived him, dying at the age of seventy years. Of the 
union of Jacob and Susanna (Fonts) Fonts, ten children were born, namely: 
Two that died in childhood; Hiram; Belinda; Rebecca; Nancy; Thomas D. ; 
Mary; Daniel L. ; and Adaline A. Hiram Fonts, born February 27, 1808, 
spent his entire life in Clark county, Ind., being engaged in farming until 
his death, September 11, 1860. Belinda Fonts, born August 18, 1810, died in 
San Francisco in 1862. She married T. J. Henley, who served as a member 
of Congress from Indiana two terms and was afterwards a man of prominence 
in California, serving as Indian agent and being postmaster at San Fran- 
cisco in 1853. Rebecca Fonts, born October 21, 1813, married McGannon 
Barnes, and continued a resident of Clark county, Ind., until her death in 1887. 
Nancy Fonts, born November 14, 1816, was a bright and active woman in 
spite of her years, and resided in Louisville, Ky., until her death about 1912; 
she married William A. Ingram, a tanner by trade, who served a number of 
years as sheriff of Clark county, Ind. Thomas D. Fonts, born January 12, 
1819, removed to Texas as a pioneer settler of Denton county, where he was 



236 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

employed in farming until his death, in 1890. During the Civil war he and 
two of his sons served as home guards in the Confederate army. Mary 
Fonts, born February 19, 1821, married S. S. Crowe, and died in Scott 
county, Ind., February 12, 1846. Daniel L., born July 28, 1823, came to Cali- 
fornia in 1853, settling in San Francisco, where his death occurred June 4, 
1893. He was at first employed in the collector's office, and was afterwards 
a clerk in the office of the Indian agent. Adaline A. Fonts was reared in 
Indiana, receiving her education in Clark county. In 1853 she came with her 
sister, Mrs. Henley, to California, sailing from the Isthmus of Panama to 
San Francisco in the steamer Golden Gate. After a visit of seven or eight 
months in San Francisco, Miss Fonts returned to Indiana, and remained there 
until her marriage with Mr. Ricks. 

Coming to California by way of Nicaragua, Mr. and Mrs. Casper S. Ricks 
landed in San Francisco August 15, 1854. Eureka, their home, was then a 
small town, with a few rude buildings on Front street, and but fifteen women, 
all told, in the place. In 1855, before the town site was granted, Mrs. Ricks 
purchased of D. D. Williams the block bounded on the north and south by 
Third and Fourth streets, and on the east and west by E and F streets, 
giving $300 for it, and paying with money of her own. She subsequently 
built up the block, and in the division of the estate a part of this block fell 
to the share of the son Thomas F. In 1902 Mrs. Ricks and her son H. L. 
disposed of the remaining three lots in the block, selling them for $75,000. 
Mrs. Ricks, whose death occurred November 26, 1903, witnessed the growth 
and development of the city with great pride and pleasure, taking as great 
an interest in its advancement and prosperity as her husband, to whom she 
was ever a devoted helpmate and companion. Of a bright and cheerful dispo- 
sition, she always encouraged him in his undertakings, and aided him by her 
sympathy and wise counsels. Although Mrs. Ricks had passed the allotted 
span of life, during her last years she was as bright and active as a woman 
of fifty years, retaining the mental and physical vigor of her younger days. 
In her will she bequeathed her entire property to her son Hiram Lambert 
Ricks, except a legacy of $5 to her son Thomas F. Ricks, he having received 
his portion some years previous, and naming her son Hiram Lambert Ricks 
as sole executor without bond. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Ricks three 
children were born, namely: Thomas Fonts, who died in 1910; Casper Stine- 
mets, Jr., who died in 1906; and Hiram Lambert. 

By those who knew her best the following tribute is paid to Mrs. Ricks : 
"That she was a woman of marked ability and kindness is attested by all. 
It is said of her that those who knew her the longest liked her the best, 
which is about the best testimony to a sterling character. 

"If there were any special qualities that could be mentioned it is the 
fact of her many kind deeds and her brilliant intellect. As a neighbor and 
friend in Eureka, which means almost the beginning of the city's history, 
her many friends can tell of her good deeds. They were of the kind that 
caused people to feel that they came from the goodness of the heart and caused 
them to be doubly willing to attest them. 

"Of her intellect scarcely too much could be said since she was a wide 
reader and a ready thinker, and thus was well informed. This was particularly 
true on questions of the day and political subjects. It is said of her that no 
member of Congress could be mentioned but that she knew his place and his 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 237 

record. In political belief she was a Democrat of the old order and being 
deprived of a vote felt free to express her views and ably defend them." 

HENRY H. BUHNE.— To mention the name of Henry H. Buhne is to 
call to mind not only the gallant Captain who had sailed the high seas and 
finally crossed the bar into the Humboldt bay, but also the Captain's son 
who worthily has won his way to business success and has developed the 
large interests previously secured by his father in this section of the state. 
The younger man was born September 22, 1858, in the county of Humboldt, 
and has been a lifelong resident here, preserving the integrity of a family 
name that began to be prominent during the pioneer period of American 
occupancy and has increased in prestige with the passing years. Varied 
enterprises have engaged his attention since the termination of a clerkship 
of seven years in the Humboldt County Bank and in no instance has any 
interest terminated in disaster, but all have reflected the wisdom of his 
judgment and the remarkable energy of his temperament. As early as 
June of 1879 he was placed in charge of the logging industry, the milling 
business and the tow-boat concern owned by his father, and he continued the 
management of the same until 1884, when the entire holdings were sold to 
the California Redwood Association, a Scotch syndicate. Meanwhile during 
1882 and 1883 he had been in full control of the Humboldt County Bank, 
and when it is understood that all of this work was in his charge when he 
was scarcely twenty-five years of age it will be realized that he is a man of 
unusual mental power and rare discretion. 

The California Redwood Company being unable to carry on the tow-boat 
business, it reverted to the original owner and again came under the manage- 
ment of Henry H. Buhne, Jr., who continued in charge until another sale was 
made to the Humboldt Lumber Manufacturing Association. Meanwhile he 
had opened a small branch store on Second street opposite the Vance hotel. 
From that small beginning he developed a large trade in hardware and sport- 
ing goods and it is said that he now has the finest and best stock in that line 
on the Pacific coast. The original quarters have been outgrown and now 
occupancy is had of a large, modern building on the corner of E and Second 
streets, Eureka. The large timber interests of his earlier life were sold in 
1884, in order that he might concentrate his attention upon industries that 
were beginning to crowd out the once unrivalled lumber business. 

By his marriage to a daughter of E. P. Vance, a leading pioneer of Hum- 
boldt county, Mr. Buhne has one daughter, Dorothy, now a student in a 
school for young ladies at Berkeley. Already a pianist of local note, Miss 
Dorothy gives promise of attaining fame in her chosen art and it is the 
expectation that her musical education will be completed in Europe. When 
twenty-one years of age Mr. Buhne became connected with the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias, both of which orders 
still have his name enrolled on their lists. He is said to have been the father 
of the local lodge of Elks at Eureka and his work in the interests of the order 
has been steadfast and helpful. Aside from the fraternities his social and 
commercial connections are varied and include membership in the Hum- 
boldt Club, the Sequoia Yacht Club and the Humboldt Promotion Committee. 
For two terms he served as a member of the city council of Eureka and in 
other ways he has promoted the welfare of the community. A man of 
positive convictions, he braved criticism in accepting the chairmanship of the 



238 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

vigilante committee that drove the Chinese from Eureka, but his firm stand 
in the matter was appreciated by all who had the welfare of the community 
at heart. With equal unhesitant courage he has championed movements 
which he believed to be for the well-being of the county, but which had 
arrayed against them men of loyal spirit and considerable prominence. In- 
deed his firmness has been a factor in community development, and credit is 
due him for his large share in the progress made by the county commercially 
and from an industrial standpoint. 

HON. MELVIN PARKER ROBERTS.— One of the early-day pioneers 
of California, having made the journey westward in 1860 by way of the 
Isthmus of Panama, is Melvin Parker Roberts, veteran miner and lumber man, 
and at present engaged in dairy farming adjoining Areata, and one of the 
large land owners in Humboldt county. He was for a short time engaged in 
mining in the gold camps in California and Nevada, and later was a promi- 
nent figure in the lumbering industry of this county. He has within later 
years returned to the calling of his fathers, and his farm is one of the best 
improved and most prosperous in the community. 

Mr. Roberts is a native of Maine, having been born in St. Albans, Somer- 
set county, April 21, 1841, the son of Joseph and Atlant (Ireland) Roberts, 
both natives of Somerset county. Me. The grandfather, Joseph Roberts, also 
a native of Maine, was a blacksmith of ability, while Grandfather Joseph 
Ireland, a native of New Hampshire, was a farmer and drover in Maine. On 
the Roberts side the family is of Welsh origin, while the Irelands came of 
Scotch antecedents. Joseph Roberts, Jr., was a member of the Baptist de- 
nomination, and as was the custom in those early days he preached gratis 
and farmed for a livelihood. The early life of Melvin P. Roberts was spent 
on the farm, he attending at first the public schools and later St. Albans 
Academy, in the meantime during his spare moments assisting his father 
with the labors of the farm. When he was seventeen years of age he com- 
pleted his education and commenced to work for farmers in the vicinity and 
to accumulate a fund of his own, with a view to coming to California as soon 
as he was financially able. It was in 1860, when he was nineteen years of 
age, that he finally determined to make the venture, and the same year he 
landed in San Francisco. The voyage from New York to Aspinwall was 
made on the Northern Light, and from Panama to San Francisco on the 
Uncle Sam. Immediately Mr. Roberts went into the mining district on the 
south Yuba but did not like the conditions existing there, so returned to the 
Sacramento valley, where he secured employment for the summer on a farm. 
In the fall of the same year he returned to San Francisco, and from there 
went into the lumber country, making the journey in November on the old 
steamer Columbia, a side-wheel passenger steamer, and arriving in Eureka 
after an extremely rough passage. Fle soon found employment, at first with 
the Dolbeer & McLain Company in their sawmill, remaining with this com- 
pany for three years. The last two years he had charge of a crew of men as 
overseer. In 1863 Mr. Roberts went to Santa Clara and entered a business 
college, remaining about six months, when the Reese river gold excitement 
in Nevada was at its height, and he gave up school to join a party of gold- 
seekers. Later he went to Virginia City and again worked in the mines, but 
he did not like the close confinement of underground work, so gave up this 
line of occupation and removed to the Washoe valley, where he soon found 






't 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 241 

work with Folsom, Bragg & Co., working in the woods. In the fall of 1864 
Mr. Roberts returned to Humboldt county and purchased a claim consisting 
of six hundred acres of large redwood timber, and the following spring he 
commenced logging on this claim, continuing thus until in 1868, and meeting 
with much success. At that time he sold his claim to William Carson, and 
made a trip to his old home in A^taine, spending about eight months there. 
Upon returning to California he purchased an interest in the Russ, Wood & 
Co. lumber interests, and the following spring he contracted hauling spruce 
on Salmon creek. In the fall of the same year he became actively associated 
with the company in which he was interested, but three years later he sold his 
interest. 

It was in 1880 that Mr. Roberts became actively interested in farm lands, 
purchasing an interest in a stock range and farming land on Mad river, upon 
which he followed farming and the raising of cattle and sheep. In 1882 he 
purchased a ranch west of Areata, consisting of eighty-two acres of bottom 
land, and on this established a dairy business, being the first to engage in 
dairying in Areata as a business. This place he afterwards sold and pur- 
chased a ranch adjoining Areata on the east, the farm at present containing 
two hundred and twenty-five acres, all under a high state of cultivation, and 
devoted principally to dairying. Mr. Roberts also owns a ranch of thirteen 
hundred acres of range land at Southfork, near Garberville, devoted to stock- 
raising. Mr. Roberts was one of the leading men in the Areata Improvement 
Company, an organization which has succeeded in reclaiming about one 
thousand acres of marsh land, and he was president of the company until 
the holding was sold. 

Politically Mr. Roberts is a Republican, and has always taken an active 
interest in the affairs of his party. He was elected assemblyman from the 
second district in 1900, serving the session of 1901. He is at present a member 
of the board of trustees of Areata. He is progressive and wide awake to all 
that makes for the best interest of the community and state. He is also well 
known in fraternal circles, having been made a Mason in Areata Lodge No. 
106, F. & A. M., of which he is past master; is a member of Eureka Chapter 
No. 52, R. A. M., Eureka Commandery No. 35, K. T., and Islam Temple, 
A. A. O. N. M. S., San Francisco. He is also a charter member of the Areata 
Club. 

The marriage of Mr. Roberts took place in Areata with Miss May Louise 
Nelson, who was born near Areata, the daughter of Christian and Fredericka 
A. Nelson, pioneers of Areata, where Mrs. Roberts was reared and educated. 
She is the mother of three children : Fredericka Atlant, now Mrs. Dolson, of 
San Francisco; Melvin P., Jr., attending the O. A. C. at Corvallis, Ore., and 
Hazel May, a senior in Areata high school. 

GEORGE H. CLOSE. — The Standard Furniture Company, of which 
Mr. Close is the manager and owner, stands at the forefront of the enterprises 
contributory to the commercial advancement of Eureka. The proprietor 
gives the credit of his success to the opportunities offered by the town, but 
many believe his own personality and wise business judgment formed an 
equal factor in laying the foundation for a concern of permanent value to the 
community. While he has been in touch with the history of Eureka ever 
since he landed here in 1883 and meanwhile has made his home here the 



242 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

greater part of the time, prior to coming to this northern California seaport 
he had hved in New Brunswick. His birth occurred at Fredericton in that 
province in 1861 and his training in the trades of carpenter and millwright 
was had in his native locality, so that when he came to the States he was 
well qualified to earn a livelihood. At first he had charge of the repair 
department in Vance's mill and the Bayside mill, while at the same time he 
became interested in conducting a moulding factory on First street. 

The management of a small furniture store in Eureka gave Mr. Close his 
early experience in the business which he since has made so successful. 
After he sold out that small store he engaged in other occupations in the 
county, but six years later he resumed the old line of business, opening a furni- 
ture store on the corner of Fifth and E streets, in the building now occupied 
by the Times. From there he moved to the substantial two-story building, 
erected in 1910, and located on the corner of Sixth and J streets. Every- 
thing about the building is thoroughly modern and convenient. Handsome 
large windows afiford abundant space for the display of the stock, which con- 
sists of a full line of furniture and carpets. It has been the aim of the pro- 
prietor to keep only modern furniture in stock. Customers have the choice of 
a varied assortment in every line. Reasonable prices and modern stock have 
enabled the proprietor to build up a large trade in the city and county, where 
he worthily ranks among the leading business men. AVhile largely concen- 
trating his attention upon the management of his store he has not failed 
to devote considerable time to affairs of civic importance and to the support 
of every project that conduces toward the general welfare, although he is not 
in any sense of the word a politician. His fraternities. Eureka Lodge, B. P. O. 
E., and the Moose, receive his co-operation in their philanthropic efforts and 
many charities. By his marriage to Margaret Esty, who was born in New 
Brunswick and died in Eureka in 1900, he is the father of six daughters, 
namely : Mrs. Julia Machabee, of Sparks, Nev. ; Mrs. Lucile Haskell, of Oak- 
land, Cal. ; Nola, who has charge of the home since the death of her mother; 
Mrs. Mildred Johnson and ]\Iiss ^largaret Close (twins), and Caroline, at 
home. 

FRANK W. LUTHER.— A native of California, and descended from 
one of the old pioneer families of Humboldt county, Frank W. Luther is at 
present a prosperous general merchant at Alton, this county, and an honored 
and respected citizen of Humboldt county. He has won his way to his 
present success by careful industry and close attention to the details of his 
business, and by a wholesome honesty and fair dealing that has gained for 
him the confidence and esteem of his friends and patrons. 

Mr. Luther was born in Eureka, Humboldt county, California, July 5, 
1866. He is the son of Chris and Celia J. (Ferrier) Luther, well known 
California pioneers. His childhood and boyhood were passed in Eureka, 
where he attended the public schools, graduating from the high school, and 
later taking a course at the Pacific Business College, in San Francisco. After 
completing his education he returned to Eureka and entered the employ of 
the Wells Fargo Company, under Fred Bell, remaining in this office for a 
year. At that time he accepted another position with the same company, 
remaining this time for three years. Following this he worked for several 
months for George Kellogg, county recorder. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 243 

The first independent business venture of Mr. Luther was made in the 
Alton district, whither he went after his service for Mr. Kellogg, first making 
a trip through the Eel river valley. He purchased a half interest in the 
general merchandise store, at Hydesville, with Mr. Beckwith. After the 
partnership had continued for a short time they purchased another similar 
business in Alton, and Mr. Luther became the manager of this latter store, 
Mr. Beckwith continuing in charge of the store at Hydesville. The enterprise 
prospered, but after a short time the partnership was dissolved, and Mr. 
Luther became the independent owner of the Alton store in 1890. It was 
the only general merchandise store in Alton at that time, and has continued 
to hold the field up to the present. 

In addition to the general merchandise store, Mr. Luther is also inter- 
ested in the buying and selling of farm produce, and especially in grain, 
potatoes and peas. He has handled nearly all of the produce from the valley 
farms for many years, and is exceedingly popular with the farmers. Several 
years ago there were many potatoes grown in the valley, and one year he 
shipped seventeen hundred tons out of Alton. Recently, however, this in- 
dustry has practically been abandoned. 

Mr. Luther is also the postmaster of Alton, having held this position 
since 1890. He is also a notary public, and is agent for several standard 
fire insurance companies, including the Hartford, Royal and Fireman's Fund. 

Although the business interests of Mr. Luther have been varied and 
extensive, they have not absorbed all of his time and attention. He is a 
director of the Fortuna Bank, having been elected in 1913, and is prominent 
in fraternal and other local affairs. He was made a Mason in Eel River Lodge 
No. 147 at Fortuna; is a member of Ferndale Chapter No. 78, R. A. M., and 
of Eureka Commandery No. 35, K. T., and of Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., 
San Francisco. In politics he is a Republican, and is well informed and 
vitally interested in all questions that affect the public welfare. 

The marriage of Mr. Luther occurred in Eureka in August, 1885, uniting 
him with Miss Inez Moore, a native of Canada, born at Oak Bay, New Bruns- 
wick. She came to California with her parents in 1878, locating in Hum- 
boldt county, where she has since resided. She has borne her husband four 
children, two sons and two daughters : Nina V., Shirley C, Lloyd and 
Rosebud. 

Mrs. Luther is the daughter of Benjamin and Adelia Moore, who came 
to Humboldt county more than thirty-five years ago and have since then 
made this their home. Her father worked as a ship's carpenter, following 
this occupation practically all of his life. In the east he worked for a time 
on the ill-fated steamer, the Great Eastern, which was destroyed by fire in 
New York harbor, and on which many lives were lost. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Luther are popular with a wide circle of personal 
friends. Mr. Luther is recognized as one of the leading business men of his 
district, and one who has done much for the development of the community. 
He has been very successful, and his efforts have been a benefit to the town 
and to the surrounding country, and are recognized as such by the progressive 
farmers of the vicinity. 

HERBERT N. BRIGGS.— That the press is a vital factor in the upbuild- 
ing of a community, whether large or small, is so thoroughly an established 



244 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

fact that repetition is trite, but it is greatly to be regretted that many people 
are inclined to lose sight of the man behind the press, the man whose ability 
makes possible the reading of the news of the world while yet it is news, and 
in the mind of a good newspaper man that means almost before it has hap- 
pened ; who enables the man with something to sell to reach the man who 
wishes to buy, without either of them leaving their fireside ; who keeps the 
throbbing human pulse of a community alive with mutual information and' 
interest ; who, in reality, creates and keeps open a great common causeway 
through which the life-interests of the people may flow for their common 
good. In the great dailies this power behind a throne is pretty certain to 
be so submerged and hedged about that his readers never see him and seldom 
are even conscious that he exists. But in the smaller cities the editor of the 
local paper is apt to be a power in the land, a man of influence and affairs, 
keeping in close touch with his constituents and with the life of his com- 
munity. Such a man as this is Herbert N. Briggs, owner and editor of the 
Ferndale Enterprise, a semi-weekly publication of much merit and with much 
of the snap and style of a metropolitan paper. 

Mr. Briggs is the son of Charles H. and Mary Briggs, and was born in 
Marion, Mass., November 21, 1880. His father was a volunteer in the Union 
navy during the War of the Rebellion, serving with distinction through 
practically the entire time of strife. The son passed his early boyhood in his 
native village, attending the public schools there. Later, when his father 
removed to California, he continued his studies in the public schools of this 
state, and afterward completed his education in a private school. Mr. Briggs 
has been in newspaper work practically all his life, being initiated as a "cub 
reporter" when he was scarcely eighteen summers old. During all these 
years he has made a careful study of the multitude of details that enter into 
the successful management of a paper, always looking forward to the day 
when he should enter the field in an independent venture for himself. 

This opportunity to own and publish a paper of his own came in 1905, 
when he had for eight years been following the fortunes of the newspaper 
business, and since that time he has edited and published the Ferndale Enter- 
prise with much success. This publication is one of the veteran newspapers 
of the state, having been established in 1878, and has been prominently identi- 
fied with the upbuilding of Humboldt county. It is a clean, progressive paper, 
with a large circulation, and its news service is unsurpassed by any paper of 
its class in the country. Under the present management the Enterprise is 
growing rapidly, having made substantial gains in both circulation and ad- 
vertising patronage. 

Personally, Mr. Briggs is a man of business integrity, and conducts his 
paper on the latest business lines. His advertising is of a distinctly high class. 
He is popular in social and fraternal circles, and is a member of several lead- 
ing local orders. 

Since locating in Ferndale Mr. Briggs has been united in marriage with 
Myrtle R. Givins, daughter of Frank J. and Ellen Givins, of Fortuna, the 
marriage taking place at the home of the bride, July 1, 1905. Mrs. Briggs is 
a woman of much charm and possesses a wide circle of friends. She is an 
accomplished musician, and is one of the leaders in musical circles in Fern- 
dale, as she was in Fortuna before her marriage. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 247 

ROBERT WILSON SKINNER.— The president of the Skinner-Duprey 
Drug Company at the corner of Third and F streets, Eureka, has been iden- 
tified with Humboldt county from his earliest memories, for although a 
native of Iowa, born July 26, 1862, he was brought to the west during the 
following year by his parents, John W. and Mary Jane (Nixon) Skinner. At 
the time of settling in this county white residents were yet few and Indians 
still formed the larger part of the population, endangering the farms and 
even the lives of the white men by their hostile depredations. Twice during 
the early childhood of Robert Skinner he strayed from home and was lost in 
the woods, causing consternation in the hearts of parents and friends, who 
realized the grave danger of his falling into the hands of the savages and 
rejoiced greatly when he was found safe and unharmed. As a boy he was 
familiar with the country around Fortuna and Areata and received a fair 
education in their schools. When the time came for the choice of an occu- 
pation he decided to become a druggist. In preparation for such work he 
matriculated in the California College of Pharmacy, a branch of the Uni- 
versity of California, and there continued his studies until the completion of 
his regular course. Upon receiving the degree of Ph. G., he returned to 
Humboldt county and became identified with the pioneer drug business at 
Eureka, where he now conducts both retail and wholesale establishments and 
in addition owns a retail store in Areata. With his wife, who was in maiden- 
hood Mabel Scott, and son, Robert Edwin Skinner, he has a comfortable 
home in Eureka and enjoys the esteem of the best people of the community. 
Fraternally he is connected with the Elks. 

The history of the Skinner-Duprey Drug Company dates back, under 
another title, to the early '60s, when William McKay opened a drug store in 
the old Hotel Vance in the heart of the business section of that period. Un- 
der his wise oversight the business became profitable and prominent, and the 
store was considered a model of its kind. Upon the death of Mr. McKay in 
1883, his former manager, R. W. Powell, purchased the business and contin- 
ued in the same location. In the year 1883 Robert Wilson Skinner, then a 
recent graduate of the California College of Pharmacy, purchased one-half- 
interest in the business. Shortly afterward the store was removed to the 
corner of Fourth and E streets and later a branch was opened at Areata, 
where an excellent trade has been developed. For some years the business 
was conducted under the title of the R. W. Skinner Company, but with the 
admission of Mr. Duprey as a partner in 1903 the name was changed to the 
Skinner-Duprey Drug Company. At the same time, the business having ex- 
panded rapidly, a new store was started at Fortuna, which was sold to R. H. 
Bowman in 1908. In 1903 a wholesale drug business was started and a 
supply of stock is now carried that does credit to a larger city. 

The decision of the partners to furnish the smaller stores of the county 
wdth their stocks marked a great advance in their trade. In a short time 
practically all of the drug stores in this and in Del Norte counties were pur- 
chasing from the Skinner-Duprey Drug Company their lines of specialties, 
patent medicines, toilet articles, household supplies, novelties, perfumes, 
soaps, cameras, camera supplies and drugs. In addition the manufacture of 
a headache powder has met with, such success that it is now handled by some 
of the largest w^holesale houses on the coast. It has been the aim of the 
partners to give to the purchaser the highest quality obtainable for the price 

4 



248 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

quoted. They maintain pride in the fact that practically everything for which 
there is the smallest demand can be obtained from their stock. Considering 
the vast number of preparations nov^ on the market together with the new 
preparations being introduced every day, and taking into account the fact 
that they have in stock everything from the cheapest package of toothpicks 
to the most expensive perfumes and imported drugs, the value of the stock 
may be appreciated with readiness. It is in fact the largest establishment of 
the kind between San Francisco and Portland. The size of the business and 
the long experience of the proprietors place the firm at the forefront of 
similar institutions along the coast. Robert W. Skinner, the president of 
the company, to whose thorough knowledge of pharmacy and keen business 
intelligence much of the success of the store is due, is a genuine "booster" 
for Eureka and always lends his support to movements for the local upbuild- 
ing. That Humboldt county will have a prosperous future is his firm belief. 
Whatever of civic development Eureka may have and whatever of progress 
the county may register in future years, not a little credit for such advance- 
ment may be given to this forceful business man and loyal citizen. 

HARRY ALBERT MARKS.— It is unlikely that there is any better 
known individual among the men who have been working or operating in 
the redwood lumber districts of Humboldt county than Harry A. Marks, 
whose connection with the industry covers practically the entire period 
since his settlement here — almost fifty years. His unquestioned popularity 
is coextensive with his wide acquaintance, and his familiarity with the business 
gained in thorough experience in various capacities includes an amazing 
knowledge of its details in all branches. At present he is interested in the 
business as the owner of valuable timber tracts, part owner of several vessels 
and stockholder in a local railroad, and in spite of the fact that he has seen his 
earnings swept away in more than one unfortunate accident he has never lost 
his faith in its possibilities or cared to divert his efforts into other fields. No 
history of the development of the lumber resources of the county would be 
complete which did not include his part in the work as mechanic and capitalist, 
his achievements in the practical work and in executive positions in which 
he has again and again demonstrated his skill and versatility, and the influence 
which his high character has acquired for him among his associates. Per- 
sonally he is a man of intrepid courage, powerful physique and endurance 
beyond the ordinary. 

Mr. Marks is a native of the province of New Brunswick, Canada, and is 
of English extraction. His great-grandfather, Capt. Abraham Marks, was a 
captain in the British army, with which he served in the war of 1812-15. His 
grandfather, Col. Nehemiah Marks, was a colonel in the regular army of New 
Brunswick, and was highly successful in the management of his private 
affairs, becoming one of the wealthiest men of the province. Abraham 
Marks, son of Col. Nehemiah Marks, lived and died in New Brunswick, hold- 
ing an influential position by reason of his wealth and force of intellect. He 
owned portions of seven townships, vessels and other interests, and was a man 
of note in his generation. His wife, Mary Hitchings, was also a member of an 
old New Brunswick family of honorable lineage. Her father, William Hitch- 
ings, lived to the great age of ninety-six years, her grandmother to the age of 
ninety-four; her great-great-grandfather was an Englishman and married a 
Scotchwoman. Oliver Hitchings, uncle of Mrs. Abraham Marks, removed 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 249 

to Aroostook county, Me., and enlisted and served during the Civil war in 
Sheridan's cavalry. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Marks were : 
Nehemiah, who died when fourteen years old; William H., who lives at 
Eureka; Sarah, wife of Thomas McKnight, residing at Saint Davis, in New 
Brunswick; Harry Albert; Arthur A., deceased; and Mary M., Mrs. McKay 
of Eureka. The father married for his second wife the widow of Captain 
WiUiams, who resided at Saint Davis, and of the three children born to this 
union but one survives, Joseph. 

Harry Albert Marks was born March 4, 1848, at Saint Davis, in the 
parish of Saint George, and was reared there, with the advantages for educa- 
tion afforded in the local public schools. In the year 1866 he decided to come 
to California, making the trip by way of Panama and continuing up the 
coast as far as Eureka, Humboldt county, where he landed the 21st of August. 
His first job was at crosscut sawing, at which he worked until the fall, and 
then he cut two hundred cords of wood — strenuous labor for which, however, 
he was well fitted physically. He next entered the employ of Jonathan Freeze, 
who had extensive logging interests, working one year steadily for the firm 
of Freeze & Vance, after which he put in seven years with D. R. Jones, never 
missing a day's work in all that period. By that time he had acquired suf- 
ficient knowledge of the business to do contract logging on his own account, 
and was thus engaged at Freshwater, Humboldt county, logging two years 
for Mr. Jones. Getting in more deeply, he formed a partnership with David 
Evans, William Snyder, and John McKay, and together they built a saw- 
mill on Salmon creek which they operated successfully for two years, until 
the price of lumber went down rapidly and they were also defrauded of the 
pay for their lumber so that they lost $32,000 in three months and were 
driven to insolvency. In the face of this discouragement Mr. Marks began 
anew. He logged one year for "Jim" Brown, and then took a position as head 
packer for John Chapman, on Lower Gold Bluff, working for him two years. 
From there he went down to Redwood, where he preempted a farm at the 
mouth of Prairie creek, living on that property for a time, clearing forty 
acres and proving up on his claim. For some time following he was boss 
for the Excelsior Redwood Company, at Freshwater, and has since been 
located at Eureka, directing his affairs from this point. Meantime he has 
come into possession of a number of good lumber claims, three on Prairie 
creek, one on the Elk river and one on Salmon creek. His investments are 
mostly in this line, and include a thirty-second interest in two lumber schoon- 
ers and a sixty-fourth interest in three other lumber schooners ; an interest in 
St. Helen's sawmill, and in the St. Helen's railroad. He also owns a dairy 
ranch of two hundred acres on the peninsula, across the bay north from 
Eureka, keeping seventeen cows and supplying milk to the town of Samoa. 
In the course of his varied career Mr. Marks has witnessed many innova- 
tions and improvements in lumber operations in this region, the successful 
working of modern plans for the conservation of timber and its more profit- 
able exploitation as compared with the methods of former days, and vast 
changes in the transportation facilities. He was the first man in Humboldt 
county to introduce a bull donkey engine for hauling logs, and ran it for years. 
As a thoroughly capable mechanic he has been very valuable in all the mill 
work which has come within the range of his activities, and his strength has 
made it possible for him to accomplish much. He inherits the hardiness 



250 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

of his ancestors as well as their intellectual vigor and fearlessness in under- 
taking whatever seems necessary, never hesitating to attempt anything be- 
cause of the physical labor or responsibility involved. Undoubtedly it is this 
combination of characteristics which has made him so well esteemed wherever 
his lot has called him, and he has a keen appreciation of his friendships. Mr. 
Marks has not entered actively into public life in any relation. He is a 
Republican on political questions, and in fraternal connection he is a member 
of Eureka Lodge No. 652, B. P. O. E., and of Humboldt Lodge No. 77, L O. 
O. F., the latter since 1870; and is a member of the Veteran Odd Fellows 
Association ; with his wife he also belongs to the Rebekah degree. 

Mr. Marks was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Morton, born in 
Philadelphia, the daughter of William and Rozetta (Bair) Morton, who came 
to California in 1853, via Panama. "Billy" Morton bore a prominent part in 
the early history of Humboldt county, serving as postmaster at Elk camp, 
and was a stock-raiser and farmer, but the Indians destroyed and burned the 
place at Elk camp. Mrs. Marks has shown the true spirit of her ancestors 
as her husband's efificient helpmate. She has always encouraged him in his 
enterprises, and when he sufifered reverses came loyally to his aid, doing all 
in her power to help him recover his losses. They reside at No. 1015 B street, 
Eureka. 

HON. JOHN F. QUINN. — Arrival in Humboldt county and a simultane- 
ous opportunity to purchase unimproved land at a low price led Patrick Quinn 
to become a pioneer at Table BlufT during the year 1866, since which he has 
devoted his attention to the improvement of his property, transforming it 
from an unprofitable, unattractive acreage into a remunerative place with 
buildings, orchard and stock. When he came here he was a young man, 
at the threshold of man's estate, rugged physically and well able to endure 
the hardships of frontier farming. Some few years after his arrival in this 
county he married Miss Mary McNulty, daughter of Owen McNulty, a 
pioneer of the early '50s from Texas and a well-known innkeeper and farmer 
at Table Bluff. The McNulty family comprised Mrs. Mary Quinn, Mrs. 
William Phelan and John McNulty. Born of the union of Patrick and Mary 
Quinn there were the following daughters and sons : Catherine E., now the 
wife of A. C. Buxton, of Fortuna ; John F., attorney-at-law, Eureka ; William 
J. Quinn, M. D., a graduate of Cooper Medical College, practicing in Eureka; 
Owen P., who is connected with his father in the management of the home 
ranch; Alice Maude, formerly a teacher, now the wife of Oscar Cloney, of 
Eureka ; Erwin T., a practicing lawyer in Eureka ; Fred, now with the Pacific 
Lumber Company; Albert, a graduate of St. Mary's College, of Oakland, 
Harold, now a student in the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa. ; 
and Evelyn. 

The earliest recollections of John F. Quinn are associated with the old 
homestead at Table Bluff, Humboldt county, where he was born April 13, 
1875. The country schools gave him a thorough knowledge of the common 
branches. In order to earn the money necessary for a college education he 
taught school for two and one-half years. Later he spent two and one-half 
years at the University of California, where he took the course in law and 
gained a thorough groundwork of professional training. Admitted to the bar 
in December, 1899, he began the practice of the law in 1900 and has since been 
connected with the attorneys of Eureka. The distinction of being the only 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 251 

attorney in Humboldt county to argue a case before the United States supreme 
court at Washington, D. C, belongs to him. 

As a delegate to the Democratic national convention and local conven- 
tions and in other ways he has been one of the leading Democrats of the 
county. At the general election, held November 3, 1914, he was elected to 
the Assembly by an overwhelming majority to represent Humboldt county 
at the next session of the State Legislature, which meets in Sacramento on 
January 4, 1915. 

In addition to professional work and public service he gives considerable 
attention to the management of a ranch of one hundred and seventy-four acres 
near Ferndale, in which he owns a half interest; this being developed for fruit 
and stock. ]\Irs. Ouinn, formerly Rul)y Bartlett, a native of California, is a 
descendant in the fourth generation of Col. Sylvanus Bartlett, commanding 
officer of a Massachusetts regiment in the Revolution, and who was a first 
cousin of Mr. Bartlett, who signed the Declaration of Independence. ]vlrs. 
Quinn is a daughter of E. Bartlett, a pioneer California railroad builder and 
bridge-builder, who assisted in construction work at the time of the completion 
of the LMiion Pacific system into California. 

HENRY ALFRED POLAND.— The upbuilding of Eureka has been pro- 
moted in a most practical manner by Mr. Poland through the buying of unim- 
proved properties, the erection of cottages and their sale to permanent settlers 
at a small advance over and above the original cost. Much of the work of 
improvement has been done in the third ward, his home locality, and he has 
been a substantial element in the material progress of that part of the city 
which for three terms he represented on the city council. Recognition of his 
public-spirited qualities and capacity for executive leadership came with his 
election as president of the council for two terms and with his service as 
acting mayor for one term. At difi:'erent times he has l^een identified with 
different lines of business, but always he has been relied upon to promote the 
growth of Humboldt county and to advance measures of general importance 
to the citizens. During his term as president of the council that body suc- 
ceeded in bonding the city (after the board of education had failed in the 
attempt) for the first new school houses and built the Jefiferson and Wash- 
ington schools, which formed the basis for Eureka's present magnificent edu- 
cational buildings. It also installed a sewer system and drafted the franchise 
for the street railway that was sold to the present company, giving the city 
three per cent of the gross income of the road. 

Prior to establishing a home in Eureka in April, 1892, Mr. Poland had 
lived in the east, his native locality having been Athens, Me., where he was 
born March 10, 1852, and where he received a public-school education. On 
starting out to make his own way in the world he went to Boston, Mass., 
and there learned the furniture business in all of its departments, following the 
same not only in that city, but later for ten years in the city of Philadelphia. 
The first employment which he found after his arrival in Eureka was that 
of a day laborer in the moulding mill, where, his ability winning prompt 
recognition, he was soon promoted to a position of responsibility. For a 
time he owned and operated a sporting goods store on Second street, but 
this he finally sold to Henry H. Buhne. Since then he has devoted consid- 
erable time to the filling of contracts and to the building of houses for sale. 
One of his contracts was for the remodeling of the Vance hotel. He was 



252 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

one of the first men in Eureka to buy an automobile and found the car of the 
utmost vahie to him in facilitating his work not only in the city, but also else- 
where. During 1903 he bought the Mowry shingle mill near Fieldbrook and 
engaged in the manufacture of shingles. It was not long before his clear- 
sightedness saw the need of an association for the marketing of their product 
and with others he formed the Redwood Shingle Association, serving as a 
member of the board of directors. This association had more to do with the 
successful manufacture of shingles than any other one thing. Wishing to 
increase his output he erected two more mills in the same locality, where red- 
wood shingles were manufactured for a decade or more, he personally super- 
intending the large manufacturing business. After the disincorporation of the 
Mowry Milling Company he formed the Poland Shingle Company in part- 
nership with his two sons. The mills had a very large capacity for three 
years, making 300,000 shingles per day, and it was the consensus of opinion 
he was the largest shingle manufacturer in Humboldt county of that day. 
However, in 1911, he retired from the personal supervision of the plants, but 
still retained his interests in the mills and property until 1913, when he dis- 
posed of his holdings. 

The marriage of Mr. Poland united him with Miss Effie A. Mowry, a 
native of Athol, Mass., and to them were born two children, Ray A. and 
Lester, both successful business men of Eureka. His fraternities are Hum- 
boldt Lodge No. 77 , I. O. O. P., Humboldt Encampment and Eureka Lodge 
No. 652, B. P. O. E., as well as the Humboldt club, and the philanthropies of 
these orders have received from him active co-operation. It is to such men as 
Henry A. Poland that Eureka and Humboldt county owe much of their 
present importance, for they are men who are ever ready to give of their 
time and means towards forwarding any movement that has for its aim the 
upbuilding of the county and its great natural resources, as well as improv- 
ing and enhancing the commercial, social and moral conditions of its citizens. 

JOSEPH BAGLEY. — As one of the thriving business men of the county, 
and especially of Fortuna and Eureka, where he has been engaged in business 
for several years, Joseph Bagley is well known and also well liked. His latest 
venture, however, is attracting much attention, both to himself individually 
and to Eureka and the county generally. It is the development of the English 
walnut industry in Humboldt county, the site of the enterprise being the 
Mattole valley, above Petrolia. In 1913 Mr. Bagley organized the Mattole 
Valley Orchard Tract Company, which controls two thousand acres in the 
upper. Mattole valley and also has a saw mill there and practical facilities for 
clearing and improving the land. During 1914 this company cleared and 
planted three hundred and eighty acres of land to walnuts, and has also sold 
several hundred acres in small tracts of five, ten and twenty acres, all of 
these being planted to orchard and most of them to English walnuts. While 
the company is making a specialty of the walnut, this locality being particu- 
larly adapted to its culture, it is not limited to this one line, but has also set 
out several orchards of apples and pears, the soil and climate of the locality 
being also well adapted to these fruits. Mr. Bagley is acting as manager of 
the Mattole Valley Orchard Tract Company, and is doing much for the de- 
velopment of this new industry in the county, which is attracting wide- 
spread interest from horticulturists throughout the state. The orchards on the 
tract are in splendid condition and give every evidence of proving a great finan- 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 253 

cial success. Mr. Bagley, however, does not give his entire time and atten- 
tion to this one enterprise, extensive as it is, for he is also vice-president of 
the Diamond Fruit Company, of Eureka, and is manager of the Bonbonier 
Confectionery Store. 

From earliest memories Mr. Bagley has been familiar with certain sec- 
tions of the county, particularly the Eel river valley, where he was born 
September 2, 1877, and where his father, Eli Bagley, a pioneer of 1869, after a 
few years of identification with stock-raising in the Mattole district, had pur- 
chased three hundred and sixty-seven acres of raw land and begun the task 
of improving and placing under profitable cultivation the large and fertile tract. 
After years of identification with the same neighborhood the father in 1893 
leased his farm for a dairy ranch and retired to a small farm near Ferndale, 
but in 1898 purchased a home in Fortuna and moved to the new location. 
The improving of the small property became a source of great pleasure to him. 
One of his original ideas was the training of four trees on his lawn, so that 
their branches spelled the word "Home," and in other ways he showed orig- 
inality of ideas as well as artistic ability in landscape gardening. A musician 
and composer of local fame, his children inherited his talent and became 
skilled in the art that he loved from youth. A native of Appanoose county, 
Iowa, born November 24, 1849, he had come to California in early life and 
in this state met and married Laura Bugbee, who was born in Trinity county, 
Cal., in 1854, and died June 5, 1888. Five years after her death he married 
Flora Reese, who was born in Humboldt county April 27, 1874. Of his first 
marriage five children were born, namely : Ralph, who died at seventeen 
years of age ; Eli F., who developed a half-section of land in Oregon ; Nancy, 
wife of Ernest Williams; Joseph, whose name introduces this article; and 
L. Weltha, wife of Dr. C. Wiggins, of Los Angeles. 

Joseph Bagley passed his childhood and youth on his father's farm at 
Grizzly Blufif and there learned the dairy business at an early age. Later he 
went to Oregon and bought a dairy farm in the Elk river valley, Curry county, 
consisting of three hundred and twenty acres, which he improved and ran for 
five years, meeting with much financial success. He then returned to Hum- 
boldt county, locating at Fortuna, where he dealt in notions, sporting goods, 
confectionery, etc. He also bought and managed the Fortuna Opera House. 
Later (in 1902) he disposed of all his interests in Fortuna, the store being 
taken over by the Diamond Fruit Cornpany, of Eureka, of which he is now 
vice-president. Since that time Mr. Bagley has resided in Eureka and has 
been manager of the Bonbonier Confectionery Store, at the corner of Fourth 
and F streets, one of the finest confectionery stores in Eureka. The Dia- 
mond Fruit Company owns a number of similar establishments in Eureka and 
Fortuna, and is meeting with great financial success. 

It was in 1913 that Mr. Bagley organized the Mattole Valley Orchard 
Tract Company, and since that time he has been giving much thought and 
attention to the affairs of this organization, again meeting with much deserved 
success. The property is sold under a liberal five-year contract and is meet- 
ing with a ready market. The company is endeavoring to place thereon men 
who desire to make homes and is making every efifort to encourage the best 
class of people to investigate its plan and the opportunities offered on the tract. 
Personally Mr. Bagley is very popular with his business associates and also 
with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. His clean-cut, forward busi- 



254 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

ness methods place him in high favor with all who have any transactions with 
him, and his faith in Eureka and Humboldt county is unlimited, as is attested 
by the investments that he has made and is making, and by this splendid new 
venture in the development line. 

With so many business enterprises to engage his attention it might not 
be expected that Air. Bagley would devote much time to public affairs or 
fraternities, but we find him always willing to aid public-spirited projects of 
undoubted benefit to the community, while in the line of fraternal and social 
organizations he is a well-known member of the Humboldt Club, the Native 
Sons of the Golden West, Maccabees, Elks. Woodmen of the World and Afod- 
ern Woodmen of America. 

JAMES HARRIS HUNTER.— Since first coming to Eureka in 1888 
Mr. Hunter has been in close touch with the interests of the city and during 
much of the time he has made his home here, having since 1901 carried on 
a real estate business that keeps him thoroughly posted in regard to property 
valuations and farm as well as mvmicipal opportunities. Forceful in energy 
and honorable in all dealings, he has won a host of friends in California and 
is himself a stanch "booster" of the state and particularly of the undeveloped 
acreage in Humboldt county, where he believes that men of industry, in- 
telligence and some capital may find an opening for profitable investment 
unexcelled by any section of the state. In early life he was familiar with 
the rigors of the Nova Scotian climate, for in that province, where he was 
born June 8, 1862, he earned a livelihood by manual toil in camps and mills. 
In search of the opportunities offered by an environment less rigorous and 
a climate less trying he first settled in Colorado, but from there came to Cali- 
fornia, settling in Eureka in 1888 and securing employment at the Vance mill. 
Having learned the trade of sawyer, he was able to find work in this locality 
and continued in the same mill for two years. From that occupation he drifted 
into' the service of the lumber company as station agent for their railroad 
at Singley's. Four years later he was transferred from that station to For- 
tuna, where he remained for five years and meanwhile he gave two years to 
the real estate business in his last location. 

An excellent record in a campaign for sheriff as the Republican nominee 
nevertheless failed to place Mr. Hunter in the office desired, and, as he had 
established a home in Eureka, he thereupon embarked in the realty business 
at this point. During 1910 George W. Owsley waS' admitted into partnership 
and the firm of Hunter & Owsley now maintains offices at No. 508 A street, 
where those seeking information in regard to favorable deals in farms or city 
real estate receive the most courteous attention and their wants have intelli- 
gent consideration. At present the firm is specializing in the sale of five and 
ten-acre tracts in a subdivision of three hundred acres on Elk river, and these 
small farms meet with a ready sale among people desiring to make a small 
and safe investment. In fraternal relations Mr. Hunter is connected with the 
Modern Woodmen of America and the Knights of Pythias. On coming to 
Humboldt county he was still single and later he was united with Miss Mary 
Barber, v/ho was born and reared in this county, and by whom he has two 
children, Mildred and Kempton, the former being now the wife of Morris 
D. Tracy. Mrs. Hunter is a member of a pioneer family of the northwest 
coast of California. Her father, Isaac Barber, a skilled woodsman, drove an 
ox-team in the logging camps and Avas wudely acquainted among the lumber- 
men of the early days. 




M ^ 




TtttsJ^ The^/T^oMi 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 259 

JOHN McCREADY. — The history of the early development of Hum- 
boldt county forms in many respects a record of the lives of its pioneers. 
Bravely they surmounted obstacles, cheerfully they faced difficulties, and 
efficiently they solved the problems incident to existence on the frontier. Nor 
has John McCready been less efficient or patient than his companions in the 
tasks of development, as the story of his life amply proves. For generations 
the family lived and labored in New Brunswick, and it was in St. Andrews, 
Charlotte county, that province, that John McCready was born September 20, 
1834. Until he was fifteen years old he received the benefit of a district school 
education, and to the foundation thus laid he added continually by observation 
and the reading of uplifting and instructive literature. After leaving school 
he applied for employment in the lumber camps in the vicinity of his home 
and thereafter during the winter seasons he engaged in driving logs down 
the rivers to the mill, while during the summers he assisted in the care and 
management of the home farm. He followed this dual line of employment 
until he left the east in 1859, when he hoped to better his condition by coming 
to California. Leaving New York City on a steamer to Aspinwall, he crossed 
the Isthmus of Panama, then took a steamer for San Francisco, arriving in 
August, 1859. From there he came by boat to Eureka, thence to Freshwater, 
where he took up a government timber claim and engaged in logging for 
himself, later entering into partnership with George Atchison in floating the 
logs out to the bay by the Freshwater, bringing the logs to the river by 
eight and ten yoke of oxen. In 1861 they moved their camp down to Ryan 
slough and continued logging. In the spring of 1862 the partner decamped, 
leaving all the debts and obligations to be met by Mr. McCready, which he 
afterwards liquidated. Soon after this he took Mr. Morrison in as a partner 
in the logging enterprise. After he had logged his own claim Mr. McCready 
purchased timber claims above him on the same river, getting out millions of 
feet a year for a period of eighteen years. In the meantime he bought out 
Air. Morrison's interest and continued the logging business alone. During all 
these years he was in the active management of the business, both in the 
woods and on the drives, no detail escaping his notice and supervision. The 
greater portion of the logs which he handled were delivered to the ^^'illiam 
Carson mill in Eureka. During this time Mr. McCready usually had about 
thirty ox teams broken and ready for use, and it is a fact that he sold some 
of his ox teams for the highest prices paid. 

After logging for eighteen years Mr. McCready sold the timber on his 
land as stumpage and then devoted his attention to dairy farming, in which 
he achieved success. It was about 1866 that he purchased his present place 
comprising one hundred sixty acres of unimproved land, which was thicklj' 
covered with underbrush and heavy timber. He quickly cleared a portion of 
the ranch, setting out a part of the land to apple trees, but a few years later 
a heavy freshet washed out all but two of his trees. He then began clearing 
the remainder of the ranch, mainly the bottom land, and here he first enf^^aged 
in dairying and also the making and selling of butter, the deman-! .ilways 
exceeding the supply on hand. He at present owns one hui'-dred si:t} acres 
of highly cultivated land, but has retired from all active work, Icxsing the 
place to his sons, although he still makes his home here. He has been one of 
the most successful farmers and dairymen in the district and was also equally 
successful in his logging activities. 



260 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Mr. McCready's marriage united him with Julia Davis, a native of Wis- 
consin, and of their union there are two children, Adolph and Randolph, who 
are both living on the home place with their father, Mrs. McCready having 
passed away in February, 1913. Randolph is married to Mathilda Sutherland 
of Indianola and they have two children, Pearl and Edna. The name of John 
McCready is a synonym for an open-hearted hospitality that has known no 
change since he took up his residence in Humboldt county, and many a 
wayfarer has been refreshed and cheered and made to view life more 
optimistically after an hour's converse with this sturdy old pioneer. 

GEORGE W. HUFFORD,— In the capacity of stage driver, running 
between Bridgeville and Ruth, Trinity county, Mr. Hufiford is known to a 
majority of the residents of this part of the state, by whom he is held in 
high esteem. In addition to conveying passengers, he handles the mail be- 
tween these towns, making three round trips each week, and has just renewed 
the mail and parcels post contract for another four years. His father, David 
Hufiford, was born in Kentucky and removed with his parents to Iowa, where 
his youth was uneventfully passed in attendance at the district school and 
assisting his father. At the time of the discovery of gold in California, David 
was just entering manhood and was eager, ambitious and fearless. With a 
desire to see more of the world than was possible in his own neighborhood, 
he started, in 1849, with several others for the coast, making the long trip 
with ox teams, during which time they were beset with constant dangers 
from the Indians, with whom they had several skirmishes. Young Hufiford 
located a claim on the Pitt river, which he worked for a time and then removed 
his outfit to Trinity county, spending eleven months prospecting on Coffee 
creek. Although not successful in his mining ventures, he was not discour- 
aged, and in fact was so well pleased with the opportunities offered a young 
man in the west, that he determined to make it his future home. With this 
end in view, he returned to his old home in Iowa, and was married to Miss 
Mary Morris, the young couple making the trip back with a mule team. Their 
first home was at Clayton, Contra Costa county, where Mr. Hufiford embarked 
in the livery business, in which he continued for a period of twenty years. 
George W. was a lad of eight years when the parents, in 1876, came to 
Humboldt county and entered a claim of one hundred sixty acres near Trini- 
dad. After proving up on this tract and placing it under a high state of 
cultivation the parents continued to reside there until retiring from active 
farm life and moving into the town of Areata, where the father died, in 1906, 
at the age of seventy-six. 

George W. Hufiford is a native son, having been born at Clayton, Contra 
Costa county, September 24, 1868. Of his two brothers and two sisters, 
Walter is a prominent attorney and judge in Oregon. By the second mar- 
riage of his father, there were four children. George W. Hufiford was mar- 
ried at Ukiah, Mendocino county, October 29, 1893, to Miss Jennie Babcock, 
a native of Chico, but reared at Ukiah, this state. After their marriage they 
established a home at Orick, where he was in the employ of Mr. Swan for 
five years, then removed to Trinidad, where he opened a meat market, con- 
ducting a profitable business for five years. On selling out his business he 
was engaged as buyer for Ralph Bull, proprietor of a large meat market at 
Areata, and in this capacity made long trips covering Trinity, Del Norte, 
Humboldt and parts of Mendocino counties. Three years later, however, 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 261 

we find him in the employ of McConnaha Bros., liverymen of Trinidad, which 
connection lasted for seven years, when Mr. Hufford purchased the Bridge- 
ville and Ruth stage line and removed with his family to Bridgeville. He 
owns six acres of land near town, where they have a comfortable home. May 
14, 1912, he sustained a severe loss in the burning of his residence, but a 
larger and more modern edifice was soon erected in its place. The family of 
Mr. and Mrs. Hufford includes eight children, namely : May, Mrs. Edwin 
Bunese, of Bridgeville ; Imogene, Rosa, Georgia, Grace, William, Lola and 
Baby. In politics he is a Republican. 

HON. CLIFTON HORACE CONNICK.— From the far distant province 
of New Brunswick and the small village of St. Stephen there came to the 
shores of the Pacific during 1873 John S. and Janet Elizabeth (McKenzie) 
Connick, bringing with them their small son, Clifton Horace, whose birth had 
occurred in the New Brunswick town December 4, 1871, but whose earliest 
recollections cluster around the timber regions of Humboldt county. De- 
scended from a long line of worthy forebears who had struggled for a live- 
lihood in the midst of the rigorous climatic conditions of the Canadian 
province, he inherited qualities of persistence, endurance and patience that 
stood him in good stead in his ambitions to obtain an education in the classics 
and the law. The encouragement of the family, coupled with his own deter- 
mination, enabled him to secure an excellent education in the grammar- 
school and Phelps Business College at Eureka, and in the law department of 
the University of California (Hastings Law College), from which in 1893 he 
was graduated with the highest standing for proficiency. Immediately after 
he had been granted the privilege of practicing law in the courts of California 
he opened an office at Eureka, where he has remained up to the present time, 
meanwhile winning his way slowly but surely to prestige and prominence. 

Not only at the bar but also on the bench, Judge Connick has proved his 
masterly grasp of his chosen profession. After he had served for eight years 
as deputy district attorney and had built up a valuable private practice, dur- 
ing 1908 the confidence which the voters had in his ability was evinced by his 
election as superior judge of Humboldt county on the Republican ticket. 
In this responsible office he has been nonpartisan in decisions, incorruptible 
in honor, earnest in devotion to duty and a humanitarian in his sympathies. 
His decisions not only represent logical, impartial knowledge of the law, 
but are also worthy of intellectual and moral praise. Besides being a lawyer 
and jurist he is a public-spirited citizen and nothing vital and important is 
alien to him. 

The versatility of his abilities is shown by his proficiency in music. 
Through his efforts was organized the Eureka Choral Society, with a mem- 
bership of thirty, comprising some of the best singers in Humboldt county and 
forming an association that has promoted a knowledge of music among the 
people of Eureka. Equally interesting, but representing a different phase of 
his activity, is his membership in the Sequoia Yacht Club and the Humboldt 
Club. His family consists of wife and daughter, Janet Gertrude, the former 
having been Miss Gertrude Cooper, a native of Areata and the daughter of 
John W. Cooper, a pioneer supervisor and prominent stockman of Hum- 
boldt county. The Eastern Star has had the capable co-operation of both 
Judge and Mrs. Connick, while other branches of Masonry to which he 
belongs are the local blue lodge. Royal Arch Chapter and Knights Templar 



262 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Commandery. A deep and varied interest in the ]\Iasonic Order by no means 
represents the entirety of the Judge's fraternal affiHations, for in addition he 
has been a local leader of the Elks, the Improved Order of Red ]\Ien, the 
Woodmen of the World, the Modern Woodmen of America and the lodge 
and encampment of Odd Fellows. 

WILLIAM EDWARD COOK, D. D. S.— The distinction of having 
assisted in framing the first dental laws of California belongs to Dr. Cook, 
who is not only a native son of the commonwealth, but also one of its pioneer 
dentists and a citizen whose identification with any movement has tended 
toward its betterment. He was born at Lake Tahoe, this state, January 10, 
1862, and is a son of John Cook, a western pioneer who built the first saw- 
mill in the Lake Tahoe region and was connected with other enterprises of 
the formative era of state history. When Dr. Cook was a mere lad the family 
moved to Sonoma county, where the father was engaged in freighting from 
Petaluma to the valley towns until the building of the Donohoe railroad, now 
the Northwestern Pacific. In this environment William E. Cook received a 
good education, in boyhood, and afterward continued his studies, in fact he 
left no effort unmade that would enlarge his fund of classical and professional 
knowledge. Finally he was graduated in dentistry, having enjoyed perhaps the 
best advantages for that profession to be had in the state. Then, with am- 
bition still unsatisfied, he went east to take post-graduate courses in institu- 
tions famous for the thoroughness of their training and their adoption of 
modern methods of work in every branch of dentistry. 

After years of successful dental practice in Sonoma county Dr. Cook 
came to Eureka in 188.^ and has since become the Nestor of the profession in 
Humboldt county. Meanwhile he has been very active in local movements, 
has devoted a part of his time to the city and county and has taken a patriotic 
interest in politics. Indeed he has become almost as well known in civic 
affairs as in his profession and has directed his energies toward municipal 
advancement with a zeal that indicates the loyalty of his public spirit. A very 
difficult task came to him in his appointment as chairman of the committee 
that solicited the funds for the purchase of the site on which stands the Car- 
negie library. Although the enterprise involved many discouraging features, 
the results are eminently satisfactory to the people and he is fully repaid for 
his labors in the satisfaction connected with the knowledge of fostering a 
great public enterprise. Harbor improvements also have received his cordial 
assistance and he was a member of the first committee for the improvement 
of Humboldt bar. Throughout this period of civic and professional progress 
he maintained his home and reared his children, Earl, now of Oakland, and 
Edith, now a school teacher in the Eureka schools. After the death of his 
first wife he married Miss Bertha Henderson in 1912 and they have a pleasant 
home in Eureka, surrounded by evidences of culture and refined tastes. 

As might be expected of a man so alive to the needs of the hour. Dr. 
Cook is prominent in local educational progress and for eight years he has 
held office as president of the board of education. The standard of education 
has been advanced under his thoughtful oversight and efificiency has been 
made the slogan of the public-school course. For years he has been very 
active in the Eureka Chamber of Commerce and he has the distinction of 
being the oldest living ex-president of the organization. While he was presi- 
dent of the Chamber of Commerce that body made an effort to obtain ter- 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 263 

niinal freight rates for Eureka, and it was largely through his efforts that 
these rates became effective. At the same time, with others, he interested 
the Santa Fe Railroad Company in acquiring the Eel river road between 
Eureka and San Francisco, and among other things he was also interested in 
promoting the street car system in Eureka. It was chiefly through his 
efforts that the new State Normal School was located in Humboldt county 
and he was also a factor in the bond issue for the building of the new high 
school in Eureka. Indeed, it would be difificult to mention any forward move- 
ment of the city or county that has lacked his intelligent co-operation. Fra- 
ternities that have received his allegiance are the Elks and the lodge and 
encampment of Odd Fellows, but it has not been practicable for him to identify 
himself widely with associations or clubs, as the demands of his profession 
and the desire to promote local progress have necessarily been first in his mind. 

CAPT. C. M. PETTERSEN.— For a quarter of a century and more. Cap- 
tain Pettersen has been a resident of Eureka, and during the greater part of 
that time engaged by the Humboldt ^Manufacturers' Association of Eureka as 
master mariner, at present having the reputation of being the best pilot on 
Humboldt bay. This means much to those who are familiar with the dangers 
of Humboldt bar, and his capable seamanship is highly appreciated by his 
employers. He commands the tug Relief, whose powerful engines have a 
capacity of eight hundred horsepower, and which is used to bring in the large 
steamers from foreign ports to load with redwood lumber at Humboldt bay, 
after they are loaded towing and piloting them to the safety of the open 
water once more. 

The Captain was born at Frederikshald, Norway, February 11, 1866, and 
grew up in his native land. His education was received in the common 
country schools, and he was reared in the faith of the Lutheran Church, in 
which he was confirmed. In 1881 he shipped as helper on a pilot boat, and the 
following year went to sea, sailing the Baltic and making various European 
ports. Leaving home in 1887, he afterward sailed from Antwerp to Boston 
and Baltimore on an English tramp steamer. Finally he made a trip to 
San Francisco by rail and from there made a voyage to Australia in a sailing 
vessel, for coal from Australia, this being in 1888. The next year he shipped 
on a tug and came to Eureka, where he has made his home since 1889. During 
the first year after he settled here he was employed by A. M. Simpson, of 
San Francisco, and then engaged with his present employers, as a deck hand 
on the tug Mary Ann. He was captain of the Antelope for four years, then 
on the tug Ranger and the H. H. Buhne, and has held his present position for 
some years. His tug is kept busy towing and piloting tramp schooners and 
other sailing craft and steam schooners engaged in the lumber carrying trade, 
and he has made many friends on tlie bay and among the seafaring men gen- 
erally who put into Eureka. Captain Pettersen has risen to a responsible posi- 
tion by steadiness and intelligent attention to his duties, and he is respected 
for what he has accomplished by his own efforts, his substantial qualities 
gaining him confidence wherever he is known. He is a member of the Benevo- 
lent Protective Order of Elks, and politically supports the Republican party. 

In March, 1896, Captain Pettersen was married at Eureka to Miss Carrie 
Olson, who died in 1902 leaving three children, Edward, Carlton and Oliver H., 
the last named dying when one year old. For his second wife the Captain mar- 
ried Mrs. Ruth (W'underlich) Falkner, daughter of Henry W^underlich, of 



264 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Eureka; she was reared at Vallejo, Cal. By her first marriage Mrs. Pettersen 
had one child, Velma, and there are three children by the present union: 
Marie, Geraldine and George. The Captain has built a comfortable residence 
at No. 2301 Fairfield street, Eureka, which he occupies with his family. 

ANDREW H. CHRISTIANSEN, B. S.— One of the many progressive 
movements that have placed Humboldt county in the forefront of the forward 
march of the west has been the recent establishment of a Farm Bureau and 
the securing, under the new state law providing for such, a farm adviser, 
whose duty it is to co-operate with the farmers on any and all questions 
that are of interest to them, to make a careful study of local conditions and 
to then strive to overcome any defects that may exist in the rural life of the 
community, whatever they may be. The new farm adviser for Humboldt 
county is Andrew H. Christiansen, a Humboldt county boy, and one who 
before he received a technical education, was a practical farmer and dairyman, 
having been reared on a dairy farm in this county. He received his appoint- 
ment to the new position in 1913, and already he has worked incredible good 
throughout the county, co-operating with the farmers, making scientific 
analyses of the soil, and advising and demonstrating as to the quality and 
value of fertilization, etc. 

Mr. Christiansen is a native of Tondern, Sleswick, Germany, born 
November 18, 1880, the son of Jorgen C. and Mary (Nissen) Christiansen. 
When he was a babe of but one year his parents came to America, settling 
at Ferndale, Humboldt county, Cal., where the father is a rancher and dairy- 
man, owning a well-cared-for ranch of twenty-five acres. There are three 
children in the family, the eldest being the subject of this sketch, and the 
others, Anna, the wife of John Rossen, a rancher of Ferndale, and John M. 
Andrew H. Christiansen grew to manhood on the farm at Ferndale, attending 
the local schools and assisting with the farm work. He graduated from the 
Areata high school in 1903, and in 1904 matriculated at the University of Cali- 
fornia, graduating from the Department of Agriculture in 1911 with the 
degree of Bachelor of Science. During the time between 1904 and 1911 he 
spent eighteen months following his sophomore year on a ranch on Bear 
river. Still later he returned to the University for post-graduate work, and 
for two years he was a teacher of agriculture at the high school at Livermore. 
He was appointed to the staff of the University as assistant professor of 
agricultural extension, and assigned to his present position in July, 1913, and 
is meeting with unqualified success in the new field of endeavor. 

The marriage of Mr. Christiansen took place at Berkeley, in 1909, uniting 
him with Miss Anna Staples, of San Francisco, also a graduate of the State 
University. They have two children, Andrew H., Jr., and Freya. Both Mr. 
and Mrs. Christiansen are popular members of their social circle in Eureka, 
where they have many friends. 

Mr. Christiansen is a member of the faculty of the University of Cali- 
fornia, in the Agricultural Extension Department, and is paid, so far as his 
salary goes, by the University, from a special fund appropriated for this 
particular purpose by the recent legislature. He is also on the staff of the 
Bureau of Plant Industry of the United States Department of Agriculture and 
is intimately connected with the Agricultural Department of the state and of 
the nation. His office also co-operates with the supervisors of Humboldt 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 265 

county to the extent that they supply the traveling expenses of the farm 
adviser. The idea and purpose of the ofifice is manifold, and may be designated 
as follows : First, to provide meeting places and meetings for the purpose 
of discussing improvements on the business end of farming. Second, to 
create a better social spirit throughout the country and farm districts, and 
to provide for gatherings where problems of the farm, home and community 
may be discussed. Third, to provide discussions of the means of buying and 
selling the farm produce. Fourth, to provide meeting places for discussions 
of rural schools and schools dealing with country life, both in the home and 
on the farm. There are now nineteen centers of the Humboldt County Farm 
Bureau where all such questions as rural credits, better seeds, liability acts 
relating to farms, eight-hour laws, home sanitation, tuberculin testing, and 
prevention of tuberculosis, and a host of other subjects may be discussed. 
These centers are : Orleans, Orick, Trinidad, McKinleyville, Blue Lake, 
Areata, Freshwater, Eureka, Loleta, Fortuna, Ferndale, Carlotta, Capetown, 
Mattole, Ettersburg, Garberville, Fort Seward, Dyerville and Bridgeville. 

The first work that Mr. Christiansen did when he assumed the duties 
of his new ofifice was to make a scientific test of the soil to ascertain whether 
or not it needed lime, and upon discovery that it did he set to work to induce 
the farmers to use it. Finally one man was persuaded to make the test by 
putting lime on one-half of an alfalfa field and when the limed portion of the 
field showed so great an improvement in the strength, vigor and growth of 
the plants, the leading farmers of the valley were brought together to witness 
the results. They estimated that the limed portion would produce fully four 
times as much as the unlimed land, and there naturally followed a series of 
experiments with all manners of crops on all manners of soils. The lime was, 
how^ever, far too expensive for practical purposes, and even when bought at 
wholesale in large quantities was still almost prohibitive. Mr. Christiansen 
has, however, located a vast deposit of lime in the county and is now at work 
on the organization of a co-operative company among the farmers for the 
burning of this lime and its delivery to them at absolute cost, which will be 
the merest fraction of the ordinary retail market price, and will enable its 
free use. 

These are only a few of the things that Mr. Christiansen has already 
accomplished in the county, and the work of his department has grown so 
rapidly that he has found it necessary to have an assistant, and M. A. W. 
Lee, a graduate of the class of 1914, University of California, has been 
appointed to fill this place. In their office in Eureka they have a fully equipped 
chemical laboratory for the testing of plants and for soil analysis, and the out- 
lines of the contemplated work are wide and far reaching. 

That Humboldt county is the first in the state to take advantage of the 
new law, and give her farmers the advantage of scientific advice on farm 
problems, is a matter of pride to her citizens, and is proving of great value 
to the agricultural industry of the county. The plan is not a new one and 
has been followed in eastern states, but it has been the privilege of this 
county to blaze the way for the west. That the citizens have been so happy 
in their choice of the first incumbent of the office is also cause for con- 
gratulation. He is popular and is a man of the strictest integrity. He comes 
from one of the best families in the county, and his home life is exemplary. 



266 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

His ability, splendid judgment, force of character and natural adaptability 
as a leader and organizer are proving of great value, and his understanding 
of human nature, which enables him to meet the practical farmer on his own 
ground, has made it possible for him to establish a good-fellowship through- 
out the county that is in itself a worker of w^onders in progress and co- 
operation. 

HON. DARLINGTON J. JOHNSON.— Though Petrolia, Humboldt 
county, is so named because of the fact that it lies in a region manifestly rich 
in petroleum, the oil fields in that vicinity have never been popular or 
profitable for the reason that up to now no means have been found of sep- 
arating the product from the earth it saturates. From time to time, how- 
ever, capitalists and others interested in its possibilities have comic here to 
investigate, and one of the prominent citizens of that section of the county 
so attracted is Hon. Darlington J. Johnson, member of the firm of Hart & 
Johnson, the oldest and most prominent merchants of Petrolia, and for 
two terms representative of his district in the state legislature, where he 
was influential in securing the passage of some of the measures of vital 
importance then before that body. It is almost fifty years since he first 
came to this vicinity, and with the exception of nine years' residence in 
Tulare county has made his home here since. 

Besides the Johnsons Mr. Johnson counts among his ancestors others 
prominent in the Society of Friends and of old Pennsylvania stock, the 
Darlingtons and JeiTries notably. All three families were of English origin 
and resident in Pennsylvania from Provincial days — about 1711. There their 
descendants also lived contentedly until after 1850, when some moved west, 
though Darlington J. Johnson and his sister are the only members of his 
immediate family in California. Simon Johnson, his father, was a native of 
Fayette county, Pa., and married Jane Jefifries, who was born there, her 
father moving to that county from Chester county, Pa., among the first set- 
tlers. Simon Johnson and his wife lived and died in Pennsylvania, following 
farming. Of the twelve children born to them only four now survive, 
Mifflin still living in Fayette county. Pa.; Ellis Bailey residing at Charles- 
town, W. Va.; and Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Plaskett in San Luis Obispo 
county, Cal. 

Darlington J. Johnson was born August 29, 1839, near Uniontown, in 
Fayette county, Pa., where he grew^ to manhood. Like the Friends gen- 
erally, his parents prized education, and the boy had excellent advantages, 
attending Waynesburg College, in Greene county, Pa. After teaching for 
a time in Fayette county, Pa., he went w^estward to Illinois, and followed 
his profession in Lasalle county. While in the latter state he responded to 
the first call for troops in the Civil war and the day after the call was made, 
on April 15, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Eleventh Regiment, Illinois 
Volunteer Infantry, under Col. W. H. L. Wallace, who was killed at Shiloh, 
and Capt. Theodore Gibson, being enlisted in the three months service at 
Ottawa, 111. He served in Missouri until after the term expired, when he 
was honorably discharged at Cairo, 111., and returned to Lasalle county and 
continued teaching. Though all w^ere reared in the Quaker faith, besides 
Mr. Johnson four of his brothers served in the Civil war, as follows: 
Joseph served in the Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry all 
through the war and rose to the rank of lieutenant ; Bailev was in the same 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 269 

regiment and was orderly sergeant; Jesse was a mounted orderly to Gen- 
eral Rosecrans and his dispatch carrier, and in an engagement in West 
Virginia was three times wounded and was taken prisoner to Libby prison; 
Samuel was also in the Eighty-fifth regiment during the entire war. 

In the fall of 1864 D. J. Johnson was one of a party of thirty-five which 
started across the plains for California, with fourteen ox teams of four yoke 
each. They arrived at Salt Lake City too late to cross the Sierras, owing 
to the frequency and violence of snowstorms and snowslides, and remained 
there until spring. Meantime a copy of the Humboldt County Times 
(1864), of Eureka, happened to fall into Mr. Johnson's hands, and the 
account it contained of the oil lands at Petrolia determined his location 
when he arrived in California, reaching the region of his choice in the fall 
of 1865. For nine years he taught school in Humboldt county. In 1889 
he became a member of the firm of Hart & Johnson, general merchants at 
Petrolia, with which he has been connected continuously since. In all his 
relations to his fellow citizens, whether as educator, business man or public 
servant, he has been markedly progressive, a leader of thought and action, 
and thoroughly trusted on the record he has made by his conscientious, 
upright life. 

Mr. Johnson's ability and qualities of leadership have been demon- 
strated in the various responsibilities he has undertaken. In 1892 he was 
elected to the legislature on the Republican ticket, and reelected in 1894, and 
during his two terms had the privilege of obtaining and supporting some 
particularly good laws for the benefit of public education. As an experi- 
enced educator he was appointed chairman of the committee on education. 
A great many bills relating to schools and educational features of all sorts 
were introduced by various members, and the committee condensed them, 
using the best points of each, into the bill called the educational bill, passed 
in 1895. This celebrated measure has proved a wise piece of legislation 
in the test of two decades, and the authors deserve the thanks and praise of 
the state for their care in framing its provisions and in eliminating undesir- 
able clauses. Mr. Johnson also introduced the high school bill, which was 
brought up and passed as a separate measure. The joint bill known as the 
butter bill was introduced in the state senate by Senator Frank McGowan 
and Mr. Johnson had charge of it in the lower house, the bill passing in 
1895. It has been a material help to the dairy industry in California, a 
great protection to one of the important interests in Humboldt county, 
where Mr. Johnson was warmly applauded for his efiforts. 

Mr. Johnson has his home about two miles north of Petrolia, on a ranch 
of ten acres which he purchased in 1886 and which he has put under excel- 
lent cultivation, having a fine orchard, fruits and flow^ers in profusion and 
all the accessories of a delightful home. He was married, near Petrolia, 
November 21, 1872, to Miss Rosina M. Wright, who was born April 7, 1852, 
near Lake Geneva, Wis., daughter of Lucian and Lucy A. (Farnsworth) 
Wright, late of Petrolia; they were among the earliest permanent white 
settlers in the Mattole district, settling here in the spring of 1860. The 
father was born in Quebec, Canada, his parents having migrated there from 
Massachusetts. He was married near Lake Geneva and brought the family 
with horse teams and wagons across the plains to California in 1859. and 
in 1860 they settled in Mattole valley, locating on a farm two miles north 



270 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

of Petrolia, a part of the place now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. The 
father died in 1886 and the mother in 1913. Of their seven children five 
are living, all in Humboldt county. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are leading 
members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Petrolia, and he was a 
member of the building committee which had charge of its new house of 
worship, just completed. They are highly esteemed in church, social and 
educational circles generally, being recognized as hearty supporters of the 
best influences which have afifected the life of this community, and as able 
advocates of any cause which they consider worthy of espousal. Mr. John- 
son's unquestioned integrity in all his transactions has made him especially 
valuable in the many positions of trust to which his ability has made him 
eligible. 

Petrolia is an inland town, without railway connections at present. 
Oil was discovered here in the early '60s, but the field remains undeveloped, 
though some wells have been struck which have yielded as much as ten 
barrels a day, of a very fine grade of paraffin base oil. Though oil seeps 
through the ground in innumerable places, no large pockets have ever been 
struck in drilling, all the free oil being in small finds. Gas has been struck 
in many places. When some method of extracting it not too expensive to 
eat the profits is found there should be fortunes for many in the vicinity. 

DR. HARRY THORNTON HINMAN.— One of the most prominent 
and promising of the young professional men of Eureka is Dr. Harry Thornton 
Hinman, whose dental parlors, located in the Jones building, are well known 
to the best people of the city, among whom he numbers many patients. He 
comes from an excellent family of California pioneers, and has received a 
splendid education. This, coupled with a natural adaptability for his chosen 
profession and an especially bright and capable mind, is conducing to make 
him one of the most popular dentists in the city and one of the leading men 
in the municipality. 

Dr. Hinman is a native son of the Golden West, having been born in 
Sacramento, September 29, 1880. His father, James W. Hinman, was a native 
of Oswego county, N. Y., and after coming to California ran for many years 
as a locomotive engineer between Sacramento and Truckee, Nev., later run- 
ning out of M^adsworth, Nev., and finally out of Dunsmuir, Cal. He is now 
living retired in the Sacramento valley. The doctor's mother was Alice 
Briggs, a native of California and a daughter of Cyrus Briggs, the latter 
also a native of New York state. He came to California as early as 
1850 and became a pioneer miner in the Sierras. Young Hinman received his 
early education in the public schools of the state, and it was while he was a 
student in the San Jose high school, at the age of eighteen, that he determined 
upon the career of a dentist as his Hfe work. After completing his high school 
course he went to San Francisco, where he matriculated at the College of 
Physicians and Surgeons, entering the dental department. He was graduated 
in 1902 with the degree of D. D. S. after a three years' course, and 
immediately took the state board examination, as required by law, and passed 
with high honors, receiving his license to practice dentistry. Going at once to 
Fort Bragg, he conducted a dental office in connection with Dr. McCormick's 
hospital, and during the year that he remained there was very successful. 
From there he came up to Eureka in June, 1903, and was associated with 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 271 

Dr. Carmichael for a year, at the close of which time he went to Hanford, 
remaining- there for two years in the employ of Dr. H. T. Hendricks. 

It was while he was located at Hanford that the marriage of Dr. Hinman 
occurred, uniting him with Miss Catherine Cameron, of that city. In Feb- 
ruary, 1907, he returned to Eureka and purchased the ofifice and practice of 
Dr. Carmichael, and has since that time conducted the business himself. He 
has met with deserved success and has won an exceedingly enviable place 
in the hearts of Eureka citizens. Aside from his professional popularity he 
is also well and favorably known, and together with Mrs. Hinman participates 
in the social affairs of the city. He is a prominent member of Eureka Lodge 
No. 652, B. P. O. E., and is also a member of the Psi Omega, a national dental 
fraternity. Mrs. Hinman has borne her husband three children, Catherine 
Helaine, James Roderick and Harry Thornton, Jr. 

MRS. DIXIE CHAMBERLAIN.— The real estate business, which has 
made such strides in development in this part of the country in the last 
decade, has proved a most attractive field of labor for the progressive business 
woman who recently has come to the fore and procured such good returns 
that her fellow workers are kept busy looking after their interests and keeping 
in close touch with her. Mrs. Chamberlain is a fine example of the energetic 
business woman and one who has been most prosperous in all her ventures. 
She has been optimistic at all times as to the future of Eureka and is the 
owner of several pieces of valuable real estate, numbering among her pos- 
sessions attractive flats on the corner of Third and I streets. She is the 
granddaughter of Jacob Shaw, a native of Maryland, and a Revolutionary 
soldier. He came of sturdy German stock and was one of the early settlers 
of Kentucky. Later in life he removed with his family to Arkansas, where 
he resided until his death. His wife was Elizabeth Hereford, of English 
descent. 

Thomas J. Shaw, the father of Mrs. Chamberlain, was born in 1801, near 
Louisville, Ky., and it was there he was married to Eliza A. Brice, also a 
native of Kentucky, having been born in Clark county, in 1811. The father 
of Mrs. Shaw was Thomas Brice, likewise of Kentucky birth and a soldier 
in the war of 1812. He was of English descent and one of that class of citizens 
to whose energy and wise discrimination Kentucky is so greatly indebted. 
Thomas Brice was married to Margaret McMillan, a daughter of the Blue 
Grass State, and whose father, Maj. Robert McMillan, served in the Revolu- 
tionary War with the commission of major. His advent into Kentucky was 
during the time of Daniel Boone. Thomas J. Shaw, after a residence of 
several years in Center Point, Iowa, removed in the '50s to Linn county, 
Kan., making his home for four years at Mound City, which was only one 
mile from the old John Brown Fort. Returning with his family to Iowa, he 
continued to reside there until 1865, when the trip to California was begun. 
George Shaw, a son, who had crossed the plains to the Golden State in 1852, 
returned at that time and acted as captain of the large train which had been 
made up for the trip. For five months they risked their lives on the trackless, 
Indian-infested plains and only escaped a planned massacre by the soldiers 
of Fort Laramie surprising the red men at their place of ambush and routing 
them. In October, 1865, the little company arrived in Napa, Cal., and there 
the Shaws lived for a year, when they came to Humboldt county. More than 



272 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

any state in the Union, the vigorous prosperity of California is directly trace- 
able to the sturdy characters and untiring perseverance of its pioneers, bring- 
ing hither eastern conservatism and practical experience to the aid of western 
chaos and impetuosity, and enrolled among these noble men is the name of 
Thomas J. Shaw. He passed away in Humboldt county in 1879, while the 
mother lived until 1888. They were the parents of eleven children, of whom 
Margaret, Mrs. Congdon, makes her home at Center Point, Iowa ; Ann, Mrs. 
Carlin, died while a resident of Center Point ; George, who became prominent 
in the general affairs of Humboldt county and served as assessor for two 
terms, passed away while making his home in Eureka ; James, another son, 
lives at Emeryville, Cal. ; John and Francis are next in order; Dixie is the 
subject of this sketch ; Corinno, Mrs. Lambert, died at Eureka, while Jacob's 
demise occurred at Kneeland Prairie ; Fronie makes her home on Albee 
street. Eureka ; Elton A., Mrs. Ogden, resides in San Francisco. 

Mrs. Chamberlain was christened Sarah Helen, but was always called 
Dick until the war, when she was called Dixie, by which name she has been 
known ever since. She was born at Center Point, Linn county, Iowa, and it 
was there she received her education in the public schools. She accompanied 
her parents on the trip to California and two years after arriving here was 
married, October 21, 1867, at Elk River, to Joseph Scott Stewart. He was born 
at Crawfordsville, Ind., in 1832, and when he was a child he removed to Center 
Point, Iowa, with his parents. In 1853 he removed with his family to Puget 
Sound, Wash., and while there served in the Indian wars. Later he took 
up his residence in San Francisco and afterward located at Vallejo. In 1865, 
in company with George and Frank Shaw, Mr. Stewart came to Humboldt 
county and purchased the old Colonel Hagen ranch of about five hundred 
acres, and while living here was married to Dixie Shaw. They made their 
home on this valuable property until 1879, when they disposed of the ranch 
and took up unimproved land, further up the Elk river. Mr. Stewart had 
just begun the work of clearing and improving, when he contracted pneu- 
monia, and died July 27, 1880. He was a member of Humboldt Lodge No. 
79, F. & A. M., and served his community as deputy assessor. Of the seven 
children born to Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, Cleo Gustein died in infancy; Carl 
Vere is a clerk in the Mare Island Navy yard at Vallejo; Blanch Gertrude 
died when in her eighteenth year, a short time before graduating from the 
academy ; Ralph Scott is employed as a machinist with the Hammond Lumber 
Company, of Eureka; Mark Clifford died in infancy; Madge Myrtle, a short- 
hand reporter, died when twenty-two years of age ; Dixie Corinno is the wife 
of Oscar Samuels, a prominent attorney of San Francisco. 

In 1890 Mrs. Stewart became the wife of J. D. H. Chamberlain, a native 
of New York state, and for many years one of the leading attorneys of Eureka. 
Since his demise, which occurred in 1902, she has continued to make her home 
on I street. The five hundred acres of redwood timber land which she owned 
was later sold and investments made in Eureka business property, which she 
manages wisely and with profit. Fraternally Mrs. Chamberlain is a member 
of the Eastern Star ; is past officer of the Pythian Sisters ; served as deputy 
grand chief of Humboldt county and grand manager of the grand Temple of 
California. She is likewise a prominent member of the Society of Humboldt 
County Pioneers, and politically an ardent Republican. 



^H 




^H 


^^^T ^ 




r^H 


^^Ki. 




^^ 


^H 


'I'jfc 




^^^^^^^^^^^^I^^K.'^ 


^^ ' ,'^^^^^^^^^^^ii3^^^^^^^B 


^^B ■ 


^^^K 


/ ^ yB 


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^KT' ^^^^^^^I 


^^^Mi 


f . ir ^^H 


^^^^■^ ,^1 




aju^ ^^^^^^^^^H 


^^B|H 


^B ^ 




^^1 


^^^B 

^^^^^^^^v 




H^H 


^H 


' ^^^^^^^1 


^^^H 


H 




^^H 






^^^^Hl^l 




HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 275 

CAPT. HENRY HAMILTON COUSINS.— Coming from the maritime 
county of Hancock in Maine, where a large proportion of the population from 
the earliest American occupancy up to the present generation have followed 
the sea for a livelihood, it is but natural that Capt. Henry Hamilton Cousins 
as well as his father, Capt. Jacob Cousins, should have devoted themselves 
to seafaring pursuits. The latter began to follow the sea when sixteen years 
of age ; the former was only seven years old when he came to California from 
Maine in the brig Josephine around Cape Horn with his father, and in that 
long, tedious voyage upon the high seas began his lifelong afifection for the 
deep, his intelligent interest in the mastery of an ocean vessel. The expira- 
tion of the voyage brought him to Eureka and this city he since has con- 
sidered his home, although the duties of his occupation frequently have taken 
him to other parts of the west and to other seaports of the Pacific ocean. As 
early as 1848 his father came to San Francisco as master of a vessel. Return- 
ing to the east in 1853, he made his next trip around the Horn in 1862, in 
.which year he anchored the brig Josephine in the harbor of San Francisco. 
During the following year he came to Eureka in command of the brig Glencoe, 
owned by the Dolbeer & Carson Company. For many years he sailed from 
Eureka as master of ships and to this harbor in 1870 he brought the Wash- 
ington Libby, one thousand tons, which had the distinction of being the first 
ship of that size to cross the bar. He had the further honor of sailing the 
first boat up the Eel river. With his passing in 1885 there came to an end 
a long and prominent connection with the maritime development of Hum- 
boldt county. 

For many years Capt. Henry Hamilton Cousins sailed with his father. 
The experience and calm judgment of the elder captain proved valuable to 
the younger man when later he came into the command of ships for himself. 
By training as well as native endowments he is well qualified for the life he 
has chosen. During 1905 he organized the Humboldt Stevedore Company, 
of which he was the first and only superintendent. Since 1906 he has been 
at the head of the Cousins Launch and Lighter Company, an organization 
whose inception he not only fostered, but which he owns, and whose upbuild- 
ing he promoted. In addition to other important duties he served for eight 
years as a member of the harbor commission, an important work for which his 
experience admirably qualified him. He has been twice married. All of his 
children were born of his first marriage. One, Ellen H., is deceased, and four 
are living, namely : Henry G., Mrs. Edna J. Phillips, Gilbert W. and Willard 
W. Notwithstanding his remarkably active life, with its occasional dangers 
and its frequent vicissitudes, he retains the enterprise of his earlier years, a 
forceful personality and vigorous temperament enabling him to maintain 
business relations of importance and even to enlarge the measure of his 
interests. Progressive in citizenship, he favors movements for the benefit 
of his home city and county, and is a warm advocate of every beneficial project. 

JAMES BOYCE.— The Humboldt county hospital, of which Mr. Boyce 
has been the superintendent since 1910, has an established' reputation for 
scientific care given to inmates and skilled supervision given to the adjacent 
tract of vegetable, fruit and hay land. Although the original structure, con- 
sisting of main building and two wings, was erected in 1890, it has been so 
well maintained that it creates an impression of twentieth-century modernity, 
and its strong, substantial lines indicate efficiency as well as attractive type 



276 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

of architecture. Among similar institutions in the state it stands first in every 
department. The surgical ward and operating room are modern in construc- 
tion and equipment, the drug store carries a full line of drugs for the filling 
of all prescriptions, the halls are wide and airy, the rooms large and well 
ventilated. The water system includes an electric deep-well pump, an electric 
fire pump affording exceptional fire protection and a storage tank with a 
capacity of twenty-three thousand gallons. A large laundry afifords the best 
facilities for all the work of the institution and there is also a steam-heating 
plant of sufficient size to heat the entire building. Besides the main hospital 
there are two cottages for tubercular patients and a detention home for unruly 
children. The grounds, twenty acres in extent, have been beautified in front 
of the hospital by planting trees, putting in a lawn and walks, and setting out 
shrubs and rose bushes. From the meadow in the rear are cut annually about 
twenty-five tons of clover hay and eight tons of oat hay, this being used for 
the horses and the six Jersey cows kept on the farm. Hogs also are raised in 
small numbers, while berries and vegetables are raised for the use of the 
hospital. The capacity of the institution is one hundred inmates. So far as 
possible they are taught the value of self-help and are asked to care for their 
beds and rooms and assist as able in the lighter work of the farm. Each 
Sunday services are held and during the week lectures are occasionally given, 
while other forms of entertainment are provided when practicable. The 
present superintendent has installed a new system of bookkeeping which 
enables him to tell at any time the exact financial standing of the hospital 
as well as the cost of any article large or small. 

The superintendent of the hospital was born in Dunlopsville, Union 
county, Ind., November 10, 1861, and passed the years of boyhood in New 
York City, whence in 1882 he came to California. After one year in Del Norte 
county he came to the Eel river district in Humboldt county and here helped 
to erect one of the first creameries, being himself one of the pioneers in the 
creamery business in the valley. For seven years he engaged in farming 
in Santa Barbara county, after which he returned to Del Norte county and 
devoted four years to ranching. Since 1910 he has been superintendent of the 
Humboldt county hospital at Eureka and has brought to bear intelligent 
supervision and wise management, so that the hospital stands on a par with 
similar institutions in the state. Fraternally he is a member of Eureka Lodge 
No. 652, B. P. O. E. Since coming to this county he has purchased valuable 
redwood timber and these lands represent an investment of considerable 
magnitude and growing importance. Through his marriage to Miss Maude 
Deo, a native of Illinois, he is the father of two children, namely : Beryel, who 
married Augusta Maxwell, and has one child ; and Mabel, who married P. A. 
Guyot, and has three children. 

THOMAS M. BROWN.— From the earliest colonization of the Atlantic 
seaboard to the pioneer development of the extreme west successive genera- 
tions of the Brown family bore a part in the transformation of the frontier into 
fertile fields and productive farms. The first to take up the westward march, 
Josiah Brown, was born, reared and married in South Carolina, but became 
a pioneer of Kentucky during 1806. Daniel Boone and a few sturdy frontiers- 
men had preceded him and were endeavoring to hold their ground in the 
midst of savage Indians. Driven by fear of the Indians, he took his family 
to Tennessee in 1808 and remained there for twenty years, engaged in pioneer 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 277 

agriculture. When he took up government land in Illinois in 1828 McLean 
county, where he settled, was still in its infancy as an agricultural center, its 
resources undeveloped and its riches of soil unknown. There Josiah Brown 
died at the age of fifty years. 

During the brief sojourn of the family in Kentucky, John W., son of 
Josiah Brown, was born in 1807, but practically all of his young life was 
passed in Tennessee, where he married Rachel Allen, a native of Overton 
county, that state. Accompanied by his family, in 1829 he joined his father 
in Illinois and two years later enlisted in the army for the Black Hawk war. 
At the close of that struggle he returned to his McLean county homestead, 
but in 1841 he moved his family to Missouri and settled in what is now Har- 
rison county. Upon the organization of the county in 1846 he was elected 
the first sheriff. For twenty successive years he held the offices of county and 
circuit clerk. When the little town of Bethany (the county seat) was started 
a mile from his farm he was chosen the first postmaster, and with the help of 
his son, Thomas M., cut down the timber on what was to be the main street 
of the village. During the Civil war so many people were in financial trouble 
that, with customary generosity, he aided them by buying their land or 
becoming security on their notes, and as a result he became encumbered him- 
self and never retrieved his fortunes. In 1847 his wife had died, leaving him 
with a large family, of whom the eldest, Thomas M., was born in Overton 
county, Tenn., January 26, 1829, and was eighteen at the death of the mother. 
The family were earnest members of the Christian Church and possessed the 
moral and religious stability characteristic of practically the entire pioneer 
element of our country. When the father died in 1873 at the age of sixty-six 
he was mourned throughout the entire county of his residence. 

Two years after the death of his mother Thomas M. Brown left home in 
company with five other young men bound for California. They traveled by 
the old Sublett cutoff and the Truckee route. On the 22d of September they 
arrived at Steep Hollow, Nevada county, Cal., and the next month they 
camped near Sacramento, whence Mr. Brown went to Stockton and thence 
to Jamestown, Tuolumne county. No success rewarded his efforts as a miner. 
In February, 1850, still in company with his friends, he bought four yoke of 
oxen and a wagon and drove to Trinity county, where their oxen were 
wounded by arrows shot by the Indians and injured so seriously that it was 
necessary to kill them. Next Mr. Brown joined a company of sixteen men 
who tried to dam the river at Ounce bar, for the purpose of working the bed 
of the stream, but the plan failed and those interested lost all they had. As 
an example of the prices of that period, it may be stated that Mr. Brown paid 
$4 for a paper of common tacks. In October, 1850, he moved to Weaverville, 
where he and another man took a contract to build a log cabin. Afterward 
he drove oxen, then bought an outfit of his own and also mined to some extent. 
In the fall of 1851 he went to Oregon gulch. A few months later he had a 
disastrous mining experience on French corral in Nevada county. Buying a 
store and hotel on the east fork of Salmon river in Klamath county, he spent 
several years there. In May, 1857, he was appointed deputy sherifif of 
Klamath county, his duty being to collect taxes from foreign miners. 

After an absence from Missouri of eight years Mr. Brown returned home 
in the fall of 1858, traveling on the steamer Sonora to Panama, on the 
Aspinwall to Havana and on the Philadelphia to New Orleans, where he took 



278 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

a river boat to Cairo. 111., and from there finished the journey by stage. In 
1860 he came across the plains accompanied by his family and worked at 
Orleans bar during the winter of 1860-61. In the fall of 1861 he was elected 
sheriff and continued as such until Klamath was disorganized, a part of it 
being absorbed by Humboldt county. In 1869 he again became interested in 
mining and was the sole owner of a large property on which he built a five- 
mile ditch and a sawmill, but the enterprise proved his financial ruin. After 
three years of vacation from the office of sheriff, in 18/7 he was elected sheriff 
of Humboldt county. Eleven elections were held from that time until his 
death in 1907 and each time he was chosen to the same office, in which he 
proved exceedingly efficient, fearless and acceptable. In addition he served 
for eleven years as tax collector. His wife, Surrilda J. (Poynter) Brown, was 
born in Kentucky in 1831, and was reared in Illinois. Their marriage occurred 
in Missouri in 1847. The wife died about a year before the husband, and they 
are survived by a daughter, Martha Jane, wife of Henry B. Hitchings, of 
Eureka. Fraternallv he was a Mason, Odd Fellow and Elk. 

MARTIN T. WADDINGTON.— California has always been proud of 
her loyal, native-born sons and among them is Mr. Waddington, who was 
born in Waddington, Humboldt county, February 29, 1884, and is the son 
of Alexander Waddington, a native of Blackburn, Lancashire county, Eng- 
land, having been born there in 1844. He attended the public schools of that 
county and later engaged as weaver in the woolen mills of Blackburn. At 
the age of eighteen he decided to come to the United States and he then 
located in ^Michigan, where he engaged in the lumber business for a few 
years, leaving there to come to California in 1867. Locating in Humboldt 
county, he homesteaded on a claim of eighty acres in the Eel river valley, 
where the store now stands. This claim was all unimproved, being covered 
with a heavy growth of underbrush and timber, but he commenced the clear- 
ing of it and at last put it into shape for farming and the building of his 
home. In 1894 he opened a small merchandise store on the home place and 
soon built up a good trade. This is the same fine store that the son has 
active charge of today. He also engaged in dairying for a short time, but the 
business of the store grew to such an extent that he was obliged to give up 
his farming interests and devote all his time to the store. He actively 
managed the business until 1906, when he retired to a well-earned rest, leav- 
ing the management of his affairs in the capable hands of his son Martin. 
He then moved to San Jose and there died in 1910. He was also interested 
in a stock ranch in Garberville and was always active in all political affairs 
of his county, and the postoffice, on the home place in the store, was named 
after him, Waddington. He was an active, industrious man and one who 
was well liked by every one in the community. He was a member of the 
Blue Lodge, F. & A. M. He was married in Eureka, May 14, 1883, to Julia 
A. Branstetter, a native of Humboldt county, and she still resides on the home 
ranch with her son. Martin T. attended the schools of the Coffee Creek dis- 
trict until he was fifteen years of age, at which time he entered the store 
to help his father. He has followed the general merchandise business ever 
since and has been very successful. He is a member of the Blue Lodge, 
F. & A. M., and the Royal Arch of Ferndale, B. P. O. E. and I. O. O. F. of 
Eureka. He was married January 20, 1912, to Enid Hindley, also a native of 
the county, and they have one child, Audrey. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 279 

THOMAS BAIRD.— The life which this narrative deUneates began at 
Chipman, Queens county, New Brunswick, October 31, 1835, and closed in 
Humboldt county, Cal., February 22, 1908. Between these two dates there 
was an era of great activity, whose identification with California began with 
the arrival of Mr. Baird in San Francisco during 1858. Hearing of an oppor- 
tunity to secure employment in the sawmills and logging camps of Hum- 
boldt county, he determined to come hither. An attack of typhoid fever 
had left him emaciated and enfeebled and in no condition for further ocean 
travel, but he boarded one of the vessels plying the waters along the coast 
country and at Trinidad (the customary landing place of that period) he 
was transferred to a surf-boat, from which he was washed out upon the 
beach and tossed to and fro by the waves. It was not until he had been 
washed upon the beach four times and then rolled back upon the breast of 
the angry surf that he was rescued by the men on the shore and taken to a 
house, unconscious and more dead than alive. When able to work he 
secured employment in the sawmill of John Vance in Eureka. Next he 
worked at a logging camp in Ryan slough. 

As a partner of Allen McKay, David Evans and other men, familiar with 
the logging and milling business, Mr. Baird bought from the original firm 
of Dufif & Ryan the plant now known as the Occidental mill. After having 
continued in the business until 1871 he disposed of his interest and formed 
a partnership with the late John M. Vance in the commission business, fitting 
up a wharf and warehouse at the foot of F street. During 1884 he purchased 
the water front property at the foot of E street since known as Baird's wharf, 
and to this he removed his warehouse. The Baird wharves were the steam- 
ship landings for the city and Mr. Baird acted as agent for the original 
steamer, Humboldt, from the time the vessel was built until it was lost near 
Point Gorda in 1895. After Eugene Woodin in 1901 had purchased his 
wharf property, which is now used by the North Pacific Steamship Company, 
he devoted his attention to an oversight of his property interests in the city 
and country. Besides land on Maple creek he owned a tract of one thousand 
acres on the Areata road near the tannery and on that great ranch stood a 
shingle mill which he operated for some years. Fraternally he held member- 
ship with the Humboldt Lodge No. 77 , of Odd Fellows, Mount Zion Encamp- 
ment and the Veteran Odd Fellows Association. In Humboldt county, 
April 12, 1866, he married Lydia T. Vance, also born in Chipman, N. B., 
a sister of the late John M. Vance; she died June 1, 1901, leaving two 
sons, John R. and C. Alvin. 

JOHN ROBERT BAIRD.— The local freight and passenger agent of the 
Northwestern Pacific Railroad at Eureka, was born in this city April 29, 1868, 
the son of the late Thomas Baird, a pioneer of the county, also represented on 
this page. John R. received his education in the public schools, supple- 
mented by attendance at the Pacific Business College in San Francisco. 
After an association in the lumber business and transportation lines with 
his father, he succeeded the latter in 1894 as agent for the Humboldt Steam- 
ship Company and later for four years engaged as agent for the Pacific 
Coast Steamship Company. During 1901 he came into the employ of the 
Eel River and Eureka Railroad Company, now the Northwestern Pacific 
Railroad, as freight agent at Eureka, which position he has since filled with 
recognized efficiency, and in January, 1915, he was made the local freight 



280 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

and' passenger agent. In fraternal relations he is connected with the Elks and 
Woodmen of the World. His marriage in 1894 united him with Miss Inez 
Stearns, who was born in Bradford, Maine, and by whom he has one son, 
John C. Baird. 

HON. PIERCE HOWARD RYAN, SR,— Through years of efifort in 
private mercantile affairs Major Ryan was equally effective in other activities 
and the same qualities that distinguished his business record were con- 
spicuous in his political life. The Ryan family is of ancient Celtic lineage 
and he himself was proud to claim Ireland as his native land, yet there could 
be found no citizen more loyal to the United States and particularly to Cali- 
fornia than this almost lifelong resident of the new world and pioneer of the 
west. At the time he was brought across the ocean by his father he was a 
child of three years and his early recollections were of Boston, where he 
received his education and where he married. It was not long after the dis- 
covery of gold in the west that he resolved to leave the Atlantic coast for that 
of the Pacific and so the cosmopolitan tent city of San Francisco became his 
temporary headquarters early in the '50s, while in 1855, at the age of twenty- 
four years, he arrived in Humboldt county, self-reliant and thoroughly 
capable of earning a livelihood by ]:)usiness enterprise. Mercantile pursuits 
engaged his attention throughout the balance of his busy and all too brief 
existence. As the founder of the firm of Ryan & Dawson, which was later 
absorbed by the Ryan Dry Goods Company, and the proprietor of the concern 
popularly known as the White House, he was a pioneer merchant of Eureka 
and a leader in all the movements for the enlarging of patronage and the 
attracting of country customers to this excellent trading place. 

Many men would have found the management and developing of such 
a business an all-sufficient task, but Mr. Ryan found ample leisure for par- 
ticipation in public enterprises and political movements, in addition to filling 
the office of commissioned major of the National Guard in California, a 
position that gave him the title by which he was generally known. At the 
time of his arrival in Eureka he found the city absolutely without fire pro- 
tection and one of his first acts was to promote and assist in the organization 
of the volunteer fire department, a company that later did much to prevent 
undue loss by fire in the city. A forceful public speaker, with the ready wit 
of the Hibernian and the eloquence so often noted in the race, he united with 
this gift a splendid command of language, a thorough familiarity with national 
problems, a keen insight into the best methods of meeting public needs and 
an intense desire to promote the welfare of his county. As a member of the 
state assembly for one term and as state senator for two terms, he abl}' 
represented the interests of this district in the state legislature, where he 
promoted many valuable measures and was the author of the logging lien 
law to protect the rights of laborers in logging camps. His helpful life came 
to an end in 1889, when he was fifty-eight years of age and removed from 
Humboldt county one of its leading men, whose name is worthy of remem- 
brance in local annals. By his marriage to Annie B. Rice, who was born in 
Nova Scotia and died in Humboldt county in May, 1913, he had six children, 
three of whom, Pierce H., Jr., George R. and Margaret I., are now living. 

Pierce Howard Ryan, Jr., now city attorney of Eureka, was born in this 
city December 28, 1873, received a high school education here and in 1896 
was graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan at 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 281 

Ann Arbor, being admitted during the same year to practice before the 
supreme court of California. Elected city attorney of Eureka, in 1897, he 
was afterward chosen his own successor for four successive terms. In the 
practice of his profession he has gained a reputation, not only as an orator, 
but also as one of the leading lawyers of Northern California. He is a widower 
with one son, Pierce Howard, representing the fourth generation to bear that 
name in the Ryan family. Fraternally Mr. Ryan is identified with the Eagles 
and Elks, of which latter fraternity he is Exalted Ruler of Eureka Lodge, 
while along investment lines he has become associated with the Humboldt 
National Bank as a stockholder and director. 

HAROLD GORDON GROSS, B. S., M. D.— In his twenty and more 
years of successful medical practice at Eureka and in that vicinity Dr. Gross 
has done more than to acquire a high professional reputation. He has worked 
with his brother physicians for the advancement of the projects which they 
have learned to believe will conserve the resources of the community by 
promoting efficiency, and he has co-operated with his fellow citizens generally 
in popular movements which have had the object of elevating social con- 
ditions or standards of living. As a private enterprise, outside of his pro- 
fessional work, he has been carrying on ranching on a large scale, owning the 
Butler Valley ranch, near Maple creek, this county, and though its opera- 
tions are becoming rather extensive, he has enjoyed supervising them and 
taken keen pleasure in watching the development of this beautiful property. 

Dr. Gross is of Canadian birth, a native of Sussex Vale, near Fredericton, 
New Brunswick, born September 1, 1867. In May, 1876, he came with his 
mother to Humboldt county, Cal., so that the greater part of his early educa- 
tion was received in the public schools in Eureka. In the year 1884 he went 
east to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at Boston, Mass., 
where he was graduated in 1888 with the degree of B. S. He had his profes- 
sional preparation in the medical department of Harvard University, Cam- 
bridge, Mass., graduating in 1891 with the degree of M. D. For some years 
following his graduation he was interne in the City hospital at Boston, but 
he returned to Eureka in 1893 to enter general practice, being thus engaged 
until within the last few years. Recently he took a thorough course at the 
Manhattan Hospital College, New York City, in diseases of the eye, ear, 
nose and throat, and has since made a specialty of their treatment. Dr. Gross 
has been one of the interested workers in establishing ideal conditions at the 
Sequoia hospital, an institution of which Eureka has reason to be very proud, 
and he is serving as one of its stafif as well as a director. His interest in all 
the activities of his profession is shown by his membership in the Humboldt 
County Medical Society, the California State Medical Society and the Ameri- 
can Medical Association. He is assistant surgeon for the Northwestern Pa- 
cific Railroad and a member of the Pacific Association of Railway Surgeons. 
During a busy career he has found many opportunities for helpful service 
in the course of his daily work, and he has been unselfish in attending to his 
patients and untiring in his efforts to give them the benefit of the most skillful 
modern treatment. He is very conscientious in keeping up-to-date in his 
profession. 

The Doctor's fine property, the Butler valley ranch, near Maple creek, 
comprises sixteen hundred acres of valuable land, the greater part of which 
is still in timber, one hundred and fifty acres being in arable condition. Ten 



282 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

acres have been planted in Spitzenberg: apples. He has gone into dairying to 
some extent, having a herd of registered Jersey cattle, many of the Island 
strain. This fact is typical of everything that has been undertaken on the 
place. Dr. Gross is working toward the development of a model ranch, and 
he has made a wise beginning. He has acquired other business interests, being 
a director in the Humboldt Steamship Company. 

In Eureka, July 22, 1898, Dr. Gross married Miss Lena Sweasey, a native 
daughter of this city, and they have a family of three children, James, Marian 
and Katherine. 

HON. FREDERICK W. GEORGESON.— The name of Georgeson needs 
no introduction to the citizens of Humboldt county on account of the diversity 
of accomplishments that have been brought about or at least made possible 
through the efforts of Mr. Georgeson in the line of agriculture, milling and 
banking, as well as in his public capacity of mayor. However, it is un- 
doubtedly true that the accomplishment that meant the most to the largest 
number of people was the part which he played in bringing to fruition the 
building of the railroad into Eureka. He worked unceasingly in the gather- 
ing of data regarding income and advantages to be derived from the extension 
of the road of the Northwestern Pacific from San Francisco to Eureka, and 
had it not been for the determination and persistency of Mr. Georgeson and 
his colleagues of the Humboldt County Railway Promotion committee it is 
probable that the road would not have materialized for at least twenty years. 

In the veins of Mr. Georgeson flows the blood of Scotch ancestors and 
he himself is a native of that country, his birth occurring in Walls, Shetland 
Islands, Scotland, September 16, 1858, son of George and Catherine (Mouat) 
Georgeson, both of whom were descendants of old and honorable families in 
that country. The father was a prosperous merchant and ship-owner, owning 
several vessels which were engaged in cod and herring fishing. It had been 
the father's most cherished wish that the son would settle down in his native 
country and to that end he had laid elaborate plans, but these were destined 
to go unfulfilled, for in the meantime the son had had visions of even brighter 
prospects in the new world, and at the age of eighteen he bade farewell to 
home and friends and set out for the United States. When he arrived at his 
destination in California he had just $20 left from the allowance which his 
father had given him, but he was not disturbed regarding the condition of 
his finances. Going to Sonoma county he turned his hand to whatever offered 
an honest livelihood, his chief occupation being as a clerk, following this also 
in Mendocino county, whither he went from Sonoma county. After another 
short stay in the last mentioned county he came to Humboldt county, in 1879, 
going directly to Blocksburg, where at the instigation of Mr. Helmke, for 
whom he worked in Sonoma county, he opened a merchandise business in 
which they were both interested. The business proved a splendid success 
and was continued for six years. With the means which Mr. Georgeson had 
in the meantime accumulated he was able to devote his attention to a line 
of business which had always been especially interesting to him, namely the 
wool business, with which he also had more or less to do while engaged in 
the merchandise business, wool being one of the commodities handled. He 
was thus enabled to make a special study of the various grades and became 
further familiar with the business by learning the mountain trails and becom- 
ing acquainted with the inhabitants. It has been said that no wool buyer in 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 285 

the west traveled more miles or more thoroughly investigated the manage- 
ment of the sheep business than did he. As a representative of the firm of 
Shubert, Beale & Co., he traveled throughout the counties of Humboldt, 
Mendocino, Sonoma, in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, as well as 
in the states of Nevada and Oregon, his purchases at times amounting to 
one million pounds of wool a day. This business declined when the tarifif 
upon wool was reduced, and finally, after a service of ten years with the firm 
mentioned, he resigned his position and in Eureka resumed wool operations, 
making purchases for a large eastern firm. Finally, however, he abandoned 
the business altogether, in 1896, and at the same time identified himself with 
the Humboldt County Bank. After the death of Cashier Libby he was 
elected to fill the office thus vacated, a position which he filled acceptably 
for twelve years. Subsequently he served as president of this institution for 
five years, from 1905 to 1911. 

In 1910 Mr. Georgeson bought his present ranch of three hundred acres 
near Pepperwood, on Eel river, which is one of the show places of Humboldt 
county. Here he has erected a fine two-story country residence, with the 
suitable outbuildings, besides which he has built a laurel sawmill and a red- 
wood shingle mill. As a protection to his ranch from the washing of the 
waters of the Eel river he has built a system of jetties at a cost of about 
$10,000, which will protect his land against the further ravages of the 
turbulent Eel river. His land is as fertile as the valley of the Nile, and on 
it he raises alfalfa to perfection without irrigation, and he is enabled to cut 
four or five crops a year. It is his intention to keep and milk two hundred 
cows, an undertaking which will bring his income up to $20,000 per annum. 
It is not too great praise to say that he has one of the finest ranches in the 
county, and he is constantly on the lookout to improve its fertility and pro- 
ductive capacity. 

As an indication of the regard in which he is held by his fellow-citizens 
came his election to the office of mayor of Eureka in 1911. He filled the office 
to the entire satisfaction of those who had been responsible for his election, 
and he was solicited to continue in the office, but repeated solicitation was 
unavailing, as his personal interests demanded his constant attention and 
necessitated his removal to Pepperwood, hence the impossibility of again 
becoming a candidate for the office. 

On November 26, 1886, Mr. Georgeson married Miss Ellen T. Thompson, 
a native of Iowa, where their marriage took place. She was the daughter 
of J. F. Thompson, an account of whose many accomplishments will be found 
in his sketch, elsewhere in this volume. Three children have been born of 
the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Georgeson : Franklin T., an architect of high 
repute in Eureka, a graduate of the department of architecture at Berkeley, 
and an account of whose life will be found in this volume ; Donald, who is 
employed in the office of the Standard, having full charge of that paper; and 
Frederick W., Jr., at home with his parents. In addition to the many interests 
already enumerated Mr. Georgeson owns the Larabee tract, containing two 
hundred twenty acres, which he is now subdividing and selling ofif in five, 
ten and twenty acre tracts. This property is located on Larabee creek 
tributary to Eel river, is rich in soil and well adapted to horticulture and 
agriculture, especially the raising of alfalfa and potatoes. Mr. Georgeson 
was made a Mason in Humboldt Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M., Eureka, exalted 



286 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

to R. A. degree in Humboldt Chapter No. 53, R. A. M., is a member of Eureka 
Commandery No. 35, K. T. ; Oakland Consistory, Scottish Rite, and Islam 
Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., San Francisco; also Eureka Lodge No. 652, 
B. P. O. E. 

Through his own earnest perseverance and adherence to high principles 
in all of his transactions he has carved out for hirnself a career which he may 
well look back upon with pride, and is today in possession of the well deserved 
respect and confidence of the entire community. 

HON. JOHN H. G. WEAVER.— To have been chosen the first president 
of the Humboldt County Bar Association and to have been retained in the 
office as its sole incumbent is no slight honor, and it is a matter worthy of 
more than trivial mention that one should be prominently associated with 
the bar of the same city for a period of nearly forty years, taking charge of 
cases that involve legal technicalities, winning frequent victories in the most 
exacting and intricate court trials, and rising into prominence as advocate 
and counselor. Such honors have come to Mr. Weaver and such prominence 
has been his in a long association with the bar of Eureka and Humboldt 
county, where he has been a resident through years of successful activity. In 
seeking a location for the practice of law he came west from Michigan, where 
his previous life had been passed and his education obtained. A native of 
Coldwater, Branch county, that state, he was born September 6, 1846, and 
was attending school at the outbreak of the Civil war. At the age of eighteen 
years, February 22, 1865, he enlisted as a private in Company I, Eleventh 
Michigan Infantry, Army of the Cumberland. He served until after the close 
of the war, when he was mustered out and honorably discharged September 
23, 1865. After he had completed the studies of the high schools at Ouincy 
and Coldwater, Mich., he took the scientific course in Hillsdale College and 
was graduated in 1872 with the degree of B. S. Having begun the study of 
law in an office at Coldwater, he later entered the University of Michigan, 
from which he was graduated with the degree of LL. B. in 1874. During the 
same year he was admitted to practice before the courts of Michigan. Im- 
mediately thereafter he removed to Kansas and was principal of La Cygne 
Schools for two years. 

A school teacher at Areata for a year after his arrival in Humboldt county 
during April of 1876, Mr. Weaver came to Eureka in 1877 and has engaged 
in law practice here ever since. The Republican party has had in him an 
experienced and wise local leader and he has been deservedly conspicuous in 
all of the party afifairs here. For one term he served as city attorney of 
Eureka and in the sessions of 1883 and 1885 he represented the county as 
assemblyman in the state legislature. Fraternally he was made a Mason in 
La Cygne (Kan.) Lodge, but since 1878 he has been a member of Humboldt 
Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M. Since 1886 he has been honored with the office 
of commander of Colonel Whipple Post No. 49, G. A. R., at Eureka, and in 
all of that period he has led the Grand Army in its local philanthropies, its 
kindnesses to the living and its tributes of honor for the dead. By his mar- 
riage to Miss Flora Williams, a native of Indiana, he has two daughters, 
Charlotte and Bonita, both graduates of the University of California and 
young ladies of culture, training and accomplishments. The younger daughter 
at present is a teacher in the Madera (Cal.) high school. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 287 

GEORGE W, OWSLEY. — Almost phenomenally successful in his various 
undertakings, and especially so in his real estate ventures, George W. Owsley, 
of the firm of Hunter & Owsley, of Eureka, is today one of the leading men of 
that vicinity and of Humboldt county. He was for a number of years asso- 
ciated with the lumber industry, when a young man, and now owns extensive 
timber lands in this county. He also owns valuable farm lands, and has 
mining interests in Alaska which are as yet undeveloped but are undoubt- 
edly of great value. He has been closely associated with the financial and 
commercial life of Eureka for many years and is accredited as one of the most 
reliable and trustworthy members of the community. He is prominent in all 
matters which tend toward the development of the community and municipal 
progress and social betterment, and is a prominent factor in the governmental 
afifairs of the city. 

Mr. Owsley is a native of Illinois, having been born in Pike county, 
October 11, 1861. His father was William Owsley and his mother Deborah 
(Johnson) Owsley. The father was a farmer and when George W. was five 
years old he removed with his family to Holt county, Mo., where the son 
grew to manhood. The father died many years ago in Missouri, and the 
mother passed her last years in Eureka, at the home of her son. There were 
eight children in the family, of whom only three are living at the present 
time: the respected citizen of Eureka, and two sisters, who reside in San 
Francisco. 

The boyhood days of Mr. Owsley were spent in Missouri on his father's 
farm, where he assisted with the farm work and attended the public schools 
in his district. When nineteen years of age he determined to come to Cali- 
fornia, and made the trip alone, reaching Sacramento in 1880. There he 
remained for three months, when he came to Eureka, and has since that time 
made his home in Humboldt county. For a time he worked in the woods, 
being first employed by Charles Hill. Later he was employed in the con- 
struction work of the railroad on Elk river. 

The marriage of Mr. Owsley took place at Bridgeville, Cal., uniting him 
with Miss Lizzie Donaldson, a native of Oregon, and the daughter of William 
and Martha Donaldson. Her parents removed from Portland, Ore., to Eureka 
when she was but four years of age, and she grew to womanhood in Hum- 
boldt county, receiving her education in the public schools. She has borne 
her husband three children, Grace, Mamie and Le Roy. 

Following his marriage Mr. Owsley lived for a time at Rohnerville, where 
he made his home for some twenty-four years. During the great mining 
excitement of 1898 he went to Alaska on a prospecting trip but returned that 
same fall. He then engaged in the real estate business at Rohnerville, buying 
and selling real estate and making a specialty of redwood lands. He has 
become heavily interested in timber lands and at present owns one thousand 
and five acres of tan oak and pine, two hundred acres of which is good pro- 
ducing farm land. He also owns much other real estate and residence prop- 
erty, including a ranch of one hundred and eighty acres on Elk, river, a 
residence property in Ferndale, and a residence in Eureka, where he makes 
his home. 

In addition to his timber and land interests Mr. Owsley is associated 
with various financial and commercial interests in Eureka and is one of the 
stockholders in the Humboldt National Bank in Eureka. He is also part owner 



288 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

in a gold and ruby mining property in Alaska which promises to prove of 
great value. There are ten members of the corporation and altogether their 
property covers an area of four thousand acres. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Owsley are well known throughout Humboldt county, 
and in Eureka they are especially well and favorably known and possess a 
wide circle of warm friends. Mrs. Owsley has been her husband's close com- 
panion and true helpmeet through all the years of their married life, and he 
gives her credit for a large measure of his splendid success. He has won his 
way up through the force of his own energy, his ability and willingness to 
work hard and his determination to carry out any undertaking that he enters 
upon. His judgment is clear and logical, and this has enabled him to make 
his investments in such a manner that his returns have been certain and 
have come soon. Altogether he is one of the most desirable citizens that 
Humboldt county boasts and is today a power for progress and well-being in 
the community. 

FRANK R. SWEASEY— Of the law firm of Leiss & Sweasey, in San 
Francisco, is a Humboldt county "boy" who is making so good that the 
home folks are quite justified in feeling proud of him. Mr. Sweasey is the 
son of Richard and Annie M. (Wilson) Sweasey, and was born in Eureka, 
December 20, 1875. He received his early education in the Eureka public 
schools, and still keeps in close and friendly touch with the friends and com- 
panions of those "barefoot" days. After graduating from high school he com- 
pleted a three years' scientific course at the University of California. After- 
wards he entered the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann 
Arbor, from which he was graduated in 1900, with the degree of LL. B. 

Although he chose an eastern school for his alma mater, this loyal son 
never for a moment contemplated deserting his native state, and immediately 
on receiving his sheep-skin he returned to San Francisco, where he was 
admitted to the bar and began the practice of law in 1901, being associated 
with Nathan H. Frank, the leading maritime lawyer of San Francisco; there- 
after for five years he was in the office of Gillett & Cutler, and for two years 
of that time was in charge of their Eureka office. In 1909-10 he was appointed 
the first attorney for the Superintendent of Banks of the State of California, 
serving under the then Superintendent Alden Anderson. Mr. Sweasey formed 
his present partnership with Mr. Emil Leiss in 1912, under the firm name of 
Leiss & Sweasey, and together they have builded a most enviable business 
reputation. 

Mr. Sweasey, despite his business success and popularity in the Golden 
Gate city, has never forgotten Eureka, or lost his affectionate interest in the 
affairs of Humboldt county. He still maintains his business relations with 
his native city, and has many interests here. Probably the most important 
of these is the Humboldt Steamship Company, of which he is secretary and 
. member of the board of directors. 

The greatest compliment which he has paid to his home county, how- 
ever, lies in the fact that he chose his wife from among her daughters, the 
present Mrs. Sweasey being the former Miss Barbara Ann McLeod, native 
of Fortuna, Humboldt county. In San Francisco both Mr. and Mrs. Sweasey 
have a wide circle of friends, and Mr. Sweasey is a member of the San Fran- 
cisco Bar Association, the Commonwealth Club and the Economic Club, the 
latter two numbering among their membership the most influential and pro- 
gressive men of California. . 




/(^<«^Z<5/>t 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 291 

JAMES BERRY BROWN was born July 12, 1837, in Camden, Preble 
county, Ohio. He was the scion of a long puissant line of ancestors com- 
mencing almost at the threshold of the pioneers of American freedom. Pos- 
sessed with the stimulus of a high ambition and the heritage of a sturdy an- 
cestral stock, he has proved himself the heir of moral purity and excellence 
and of great educational force and power in the community in which he has 
lived for the last fifty-three years. 

All his ancestors were Friends or Quakers in religious faith, and the 
earlier ones came to this country with the William Penn colonists near the 
close of the seventeenth century, and settled near Camden, New Jersey. 
Later they moved to Virginia, and still later from there to North Carolina, 
where they were at the time of the Revolutionary war. After this they 
divided on the slavery question, the proslavery wing going further south, 
finally becoming slaveholders, and those opposed to slavery came north and 
settled in Ohio, near Circleville and in Preble county, where they formed, 
with other Friends, quite a colony. Mr. Brown's mother, Nancy (Berry) 
Brown, was of Scotch-Irish descent. Her parents were Scotch Covenanters, 
or Presbyterians. His grandfather served with William Henry Harrison 
in the War of 1812. 

As soon as he was old enough he attended school, such as they had in 
those days. In the fall of 1847 the family moved to Lee county, Iowa, where 
he also attended school until the spring of 1849, when his father, as did many 
others, caught the gold fever, and started across the plains to California with 
ox teams. Although he was only twelve years of age at this time, his father, 
before starting for California, put him to work with a neighbor farmer for the 
summer at $4 per month. His father, however, soon returned from California, 
broken in health, and James Berry was thrown upon his own resources not 
only for his own living and education, but he had to assist the family as well. 

He received his early education in the schools of Ohio, and finally, after 
they had moved to Iowa, by dint of the strictest economy, he was enabled to 
attend the state normal department of the University of Iowa in 1855 and 
1856, where he could not stay to graduate, but did stay long enough to 
receive from the head of that department a certificate entitling him to teach 
in the state of Iowa "all the English branches." He taught his first school 
in Cincinnati, Appanoose county, Iowa. He was then only nineteen years of 
age and in that school he enrolled sixty-four pupils, ranging from five to 
twenty-one years of age — indeed a big task for the first school of a young 
man of only nineteen years. His school must have been a success, for he 
taught there three years. When not teaching he was going to school, work- 
ing on the farm and in the mills to get means to acquire more schooling 
that he might be the better prepared for educational work — his chosen life 
work. 

With the Pike's Peak gold excitement in the spring of 1859 came the 
"parting of the ways" which comes to most men. He caught the fever, like 
many others, and in May, 1859, he, his brother, Jesse R. Brown, and another 
partner, drove from his father's home in Iowa for Pike's Peak, elated and 
hopeful of great success. He left a father and mother, a brother and three 
sisters, expecting to return soon. But they never met again. Before they 
reached Pike's Peak they changed their plans and headed for California, the 
land of gold and sunshine. After a long, slow and tedious journey through 



292 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

deserts, over mountains and across plains they arrived in Butte county, on 
September 30, 1859. 

His first work in California was herding sheep on Table Mountain. The 
following summer he worked on a farm near Chico. It was here he cast his 
first vote, which was for Abraham Lincoln, the martyr and the greatest man 
of his time. It took nerve to so cast a vote in some places in this state at 
that time. The state was then in a political turmoil. Speakers were then 
going up and down the state discussing the great question that was dis- 
rupting the Union, and the state was saved to the Union only by a hair's 
breadth. The rebel sentiment was strong in many parts of the state. 

Mr. Brown was in San Mateo county when Fort Sumter was fired upon. 
He attended the great Union demonstration on July 4th of that year in San 
Francisco, where General Sumner (who had just succeeded Gen. Albert Sidney 
Johnston, who had for some time been in command of the Department of the 
Pacific, and who was later one of the leading generals in the Confederate 
army) was the notable in the great procession and demonstration. 

Mr. Brown, then as now, was loyal to the core, and on November 26, 
1861, at the Presidio, enlisted in the first regiment that was mustered to go 
east, via isthmus, into active service at the front. But to his great disappoint- 
ment the regiment was retained on this coast, split into small detachments, 
which detachments relieved the regulars stationed at the various localities so 
they could be taken east where hostilities between the north and south had 
commenced. Mr. Brown's company and one other were sent to Santa Bar- 
bara, where they remained until April, 1862, when they were returned to 
San Francisco Bay and landed on Alcatras Island. They remained there but 
a short time when they were sent to Fort Humboldt, in Humboldt county, 
where they remained in the service until their terms had expired and they 
were then taken to San Francisco and discharged. In 1864 their service in 
Humboldt county consisted mainly in tramping over the mountains sup- 
pressing the uprisings of the Indians. 

Having seen much of Humboldt county during this service, and having 
formed a favorable opinion of the county, he decided to return to it ; so, on 
January 5, 1865, he took passage on the old bark Jeanette, Captain Smith in 
command, and after a voyage of twenty-nine days, with nothing left to eat 
but salt codfish, pea-soup, hot cakes and cofifee, landed at the foot of F 
street in Eureka. 

In coming here it was his purpose to again take up the vocation of teach- 
ing. His first position was as teacher of the Bucksport school, where he 
remained three years. In April, 1868, he was elected principal of the Eureka 
schools, and in the following November he was appointed county superin- 
tendent of schools. He filled these positions jointly until the end of 1874, 
when he declined reelection as county superintendent, and devoted his whole 
time to his work as principal of the Eureka schools. In the fall of 1886 he 
was again elected county superintendent of schools. He then resigned as 
principal of the Eureka schools and devoted his whole time to his duties as 
superintendent. He served as superintendent in all twenty-two years, and as 
teacher in this. county thirty-two and one-half years. He has been engaged 
in educational work in this county for forty-eight and one-half years. 

Mr. Brown is of a positive, unbending nature, and maintained the strict- 
est discipline in school — severe at times — and some thought on occasions too 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 293 

severe and needlessly so. He was an enthusiastic worker in the school room, 
and had the faculty of awaking in his pupils the same enthusiastic spirit he 
possessed, as well as the faculty of imparting to them the knowledge he had 
gained. 

While he demanded and compelled the most rigid deportment in the 
school room, the most exact compliance with his rules of government, he was 
genial without and held the highest esteem and respect of his pupils, and 
we believe, among the thousands that attended his school, not one can be 
found today that does not honor and respect him — proud that they had once 
been a pupil of his — and all feel that his teachings and the influence he 
exerted upon them while they were under him have largely moulded their 
lives in the right direction and are proud to call him teacher. The influence 
upon their lives of his sterling integrity and his moral purity and excellence 
can never be fully known, but undoubtedly it has assisted largely in the bet- 
terment of their lives, and thereby in the upbuilding of this community. 

The teacher of our youth attunes the chords that stretch far down 
through the coming centuries and as they are attuned so will they resound. 

Mr. Brown recognized the fact that a school should fit the pupil for the 
struggle of life, and not to relieve him from it ; that an education should not 
be a surface shine, but should evolve character and fit the pupil for the 
opportunity when it comes, and it comes at least once in a lifetime to all. 

Many of his recommendations while superintendent of schools of this 
county have been formulated and enacted into laws and are now a portion 
of the laws of this state governing our school system. 

This man stands out preeminently as an educator, the upbuilder of char- 
acter, the moulder of moral sentiment — the man who, probably more than 
any other man in the community, instilled into the rising generation truth- 
fulness of thought which leads to honesty of action. 

It is great consolation to him in his advanced years to have his old 
pupils, now many of them the fathers and mothers of families, come to him 
and renew the old-time memories of by-gone school days, as they 
frequently do. 

Mr. Brown was made a Mason in 1868, is a past master of Humboldt 
Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M., of which lodge he has been secretary for thirty-five 
years, and which office he now fills. His reports to the Grand Lodge of 
Masons of California are models of neatness, full and concise in statements, 
and perfect in form — so much so that they have attracted the attention of 
the Grand Lodge. 

He helped organize what was known as the Eureka Guard, from which 
grew the present company of the Naval Reserve, and which was a company 
of the National Guard of California. It was organized in 1879. He was 
elected first lieutenant at its organization and afterwards captain ; was 
finally commissioned and mustered brigadier-general of the Sixth Brigade 
of the National Guard of California, and is now on the retired list as such. 

He is a charter member of Colonel Whipple Post No. 49, G. A. R., and 
a past commander of the post. His love of country and interest in the growth 
of patriotic sentiment is second to none. He takes great interest in the 
Grand Army and loves to meet with the boys of '61 to '65 around the camp- 
fire and hear them spin their old-time war stories. 



294 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

His present family consists of his wife, Adele Cummings Brown, a 
daughter, Katherine Lueve Brown, and himself. 

The above is a brief sketch of his life— nothing in it startling, strange or 
heroic; yet it shows an effort to accomplish the best that was in him, and, 
through his calling, the impress for good he has made upon the consciences 
of the thousands of youths of our land is far-reaching, beyond estimate, and 
cannot be measured in dollars and cents. He was and is a man of high ideals 
and his aim was to so teach and act that those who went forth from under his 
tuition should have like ideals. The best one can do is. equal to the best any 
other one can do. Pompey buys a brush, whitewashes a fence, and earns 
fifty cents. This is the best he can do. Patti sings a song and earns $1500. 
Millet paints "The Angelus" and earns $150,000. If each does his best, 
isn't each entitled to equal credit? 

Today Mr. Brown is honored and respected by all his grown-up pupils, 
by his neighbors and friends, by all who know him, as being a man of ster- 
ling integrity, of moral purity and force, of truthfulness in thought, of hon- 
esty in action. His sun will go down, but his influence for good will live 
on and on, always tending towards the light. 

JOHN U. HALTINNER.— From the age of eighteen years Mr. Haltin- 
ner has made his home in the United States, having at that time crossed the 
ocean from his native country, Switzerland, in the hope that the new world 
might afford to him greater advantages than appeared to be offered in the 
land of his birth. The fact of having an uncle in Santa Rosa caused him to 
come at once to the Pacific coast and to seek the county-seat of Sonoma 
county, where in the brewing plant of the uncle he found immediate employ- 
ment. The privations of early poverty had made him self-reliant and natural 
endowments of industry and perseverance aided him in his effort to rise 
out of the class of lowly paid day laborers. It became possible for him 
in the course of a few years to buy the brewing plant from his uncle, to whom 
eventually he sold the property. 

A long identification with the brewing business in Santa Rosa was fol- 
lowed by the removal of Mr. Haltinner to Eureka in 1895 and here he bought 
the Eureka brewery, formerly owned by P. McAllenan, a plant somewhat 
small in dimensions, but characterized by the excellence of its brew. For 
seven years he continued the business without any partner, but at the 
expiration of the time he formed an association with A. Johnson, the two 
remaining together doing business under the name of the Humboldt Brewing 
Company for eighteen months, when they sold out to Mr. Kuehnrich, who 
in turn sold to the present owners. In 1905 he made a trip to Switzerland, 
Germany and France, and after some time passed in those countries returned 
to Eureka and entered the employ of the Humboldt Brewing Company. He 
had charge of their steam beer plant until 1908, when he resigned and retired 
from active business affairs, since which time he has lived quietly at his home. 
No. 279 Hillsdale avenue, and with his wife and three children has held the 
confidence of associates and the warm regard of friends. Humboldt county 
has in him a stanch believer in its future prosperity and a firm advocate of 
all those measures calculated to promote the common welfare. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 297 

LEWIS SHERMAN EAST.— A son of one of the pioneer families in 
Humboldt county, Cal., and one of the most progressive and successful farm- 
ers in the vicinity of Alton is Lewis S. East, a prominent man in the affairs 
of the county, where he has recently been chosen president of the Hum- 
boldt County Farm Bureau, being prominently connected also with many 
other interests and enterprises in that part of the state. 

The father of Lewis S. East was John Samuel East, a native of London, 
England, where he was a farmer. Before his marriage he went to Australia, 
and at Adelaide was united with Miss Sarah Jane Sweeney, a native of Dub- 
lin, Ireland. In Australia Mr. East followed farming, giving it up in 1861, 
when he brought his family to California, by sailing vessel, landing at San 
Francisco. Until 1863 he resided in Marin county, in that year coming to 
Humboldt county. Settlement was first made on Eel river island at the 
mouth of the river ; from there removal was made to Cuddeback, where Mr. 
East started to take up a claim, but the Indians were so troublesome that 
he had to take his family into Hydesville for safety, thence later going to 
Rohnerville. There he was engaged in making shaved shingles for about 
two years, after which he purchased a sixty-five acre ranch on Eel river bot- 
tom, one mile below Alton, on which he made great improvements, residing 
there until his death, January 2, 1891, at the age of fifty-five years. His wife 
died in 1895, at the age of fifty^three. 

There were nine children in the East family, the two oldest having 
been born in Australia: Daniel J. is a stock rancher residing at laqua, Cal.; 
Edward G., a commission merchant, resides in Eureka; Adeline, who was 
born in Marin county, became the wife of A. L. Zahner, proprietor of the 
Star Hotel, Fortuna ; John R. is a farmer and retired rancher, residing near 
Alton ; William J. is a dairyman and race horse driver at Rohnerville ; Lewis 
S. is the subject of this sketch ; Sarah J. died at the age of nineteen ; Mary died 
at six years of age ; Emily Theresa is now the widow of Seth Drake of 
Fortuna. 

Lewis Sherman East was born at Rohnerville November 19, 1870, and 
grew up on the farm in the Eel River valley. He was married December 17, 
1896, to Miss Elizabeth Ellen Davis, of Alton, the daughter of Harrison 
Davis, a native of Ross county, Ohio. Mrs. Davis was in maidenhood Margaret 
Keating, a native of London, England. She was raised in Australia until 
seventeen, when she came to Humboldt county, Cal. Here occurred her mar- 
riage to Mr. Davis. He became the owner of a farm on McDiarmidt Prairie, 
making his home there until accidentally killed by a train in 1906. His widow 
still makes her home in the vicinity of Alton. They were the parents of 
twelve children, ten of whom are living. Mrs. East, who was next to the 
oldest, was reared and educated here. Mr. and Mrs. East have one child, 
Ethel M., who is a freshman in the University of California at Berkeley. 

Aside from the management of the East Brothers ferry, one mile below 
Alton on the Eel river, which he personally operated for ten years, Mr. East 
has been engaged in farming, dairying and stock raising; his present farm 
consists of one hundred ten acres of bottom land and sixty-five acres of 
grazing land. He is breeding thoroughbred and high grade Jersey cattle, 
having a herd of forty-two milch cows. He owns an orchard of seventeen acres 
where he raises fine apples, shipping fifteen hundred boxes per year. 

Mr. East is the president of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau, to 



298 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

which office he was elected in August, 1914. The other officers of this bureau 
are: H. E. Adams, of Carlotta, Cal., vice-president; C. J. McConnaha, secre- 
tary and business manager; A. H. Christensen, farm adviser. The four 
directors at large are: F. A. Cummings, Ferndale; E. B. Bull, Ft. Seward; 
F. A. Newell, Fortuna; and F. E. Morrell, Areata. Besides these there is a 
director elected from each of the thirteen farm centers in the county. 

Numerous other companies claim the attention of Mr. East, for besides 
the above-mentioned position, he is a director in the Ferndale Agricultural 
(Fair) Association, vice-president of the Dairy Association at Ferndale, a 
member of the Ferndale Cow^ Testing Association and of the Rohnerville 
Percheron Horse Company, of which he is also treasurer, this company own- 
ing the celebrated gray imported Percheron stallion, Idumeen, five years old, 
weighing twenty-one hundred and thirty pounds, and costing $4,800. Mr. 
East is also president of the Eel River Valley Chamber of Commerce, which 
was organized in 1914 for the purpose of promoting the best interests of the 
Eel River Valley. He is a member of the Republican county central com- 
mittee. 

Fraternally Mr. East is a member of Eel River Lodge No. 210, L O. O. F., 
at Rohnerville, of Hydesville Encampment, L O. O. F., and is past officer in 
both. He and his wife are members of the Rebekahs at Hydesville. Mr. East 
likewise holds membership in the Golden Star Parlor, N. S. G. W., at Alton, 
having been through the chairs. 

COGGESHALL LAUNCH & TOW BOAT CO.— The important fac- 
tor in the life and prosperity of every seaport is necessarily its shipping. 
The value of its imports and exports, combined with the size, number and 
efficiency of its carriers, registers on the commercial thermometer the size 
and importance of the port in the business world. Had an article been writ- 
ten about the close of the nineteenth century on the shipping industry as 
connected with the inland waters of the Humboldt bay, it would have touched 
upon the now obsolete wind-jammer, at the present time relegated to ancient 
history as regards the commerce of the Pacific coast ports very much as is 
the whaler of Atlantic coast ports ; superseded in her work and importance 
by the modern steamer of much greater tonnage and carrying capacity. The 
steamer propelled by its own power combines efficiency, despatch and econ- 
omy impossible in the deposed wind-jammer. As great a change as is notice- 
able in the large outside cargo carriers may be noticed in the class and char- 
acter of bottoms used in the inland waters of the bay. Were the bay business 
handled today with the same equipment used at the time the wind-jammer 
handled the commerce of this port and were the crude methods of that time 
still in vogue, the dispatch demanded by the outside vessels while in the bay 
completing cargoes could never be given. 

The inland transportation of the Humboldt bay is an auxiliary of the 
outside. Methods on the bay have advanced and system has been inaug- 
urated where formerly it was ''every man for himself." As far as the steamer 
is ahead of the practically discarded sailing ship, so far are the bay craft of 
the present day ahead of the class of boats used in the olden times. During 
the opening year of the twentieth century the transportation of two million 
shingles from some mill up in one of the sloughs to the tackle of a ship would 
have taken a large share of the lighter equipment of the bay. The pike-pole 
navigators, several of whom were doing business then, would have been 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 299 

utilized in the task. ' Today an order for five million shingles delivered along- 
side would give no one any particular concern. They would be loaded on 
lighters, of which there are several capable of handling from one million to 
a million and a half. The load would be taken in tow by a launch of suf- 
ficient power to handle and dock a large steamer. More easily than under the 
old system one million shingles were handled, this whole large lot would be 
docked alongside. The modern launch, equipped with from fifty to one hun- 
dred or more horse-power, has taken the place of the picturesque relic of the 
"good old days" and the man with the pike pole. Shipping coming in from 
outside demands the services of a force of longshoremen greatly in excess 
of the number required in former days when the men went to the vessels, 
taking cargo in the stream and at wharves several miles distant from the 
city wharves, mostly in row boats or in small and unreliable launches. Today 
the gasoline marine engine is conceded to be as reliable as steam, and no 
matter what number of men may be required to work a ship, they are put 
aboard from a large launch with celerity and certainty. 

In the olden times large picnics were handled by means of small lighters 
which were tied up to a central wharf. When a load was procured the pic- 
nickers were towed down the bay to the desired place. Today when there 
is a picnic, with an attendance of upwards of four thousand, a service is 
inaugurated composed of powerful, comfortable boats, capable of carrying 
from one hundred to two hundred persons, and these leave for the picnic 
grounds at intervals of ten or fifteen minutes. Formerly parties wishing to 
go to the trans-bay town of Samoa hired a row boat and pulled across. Many 
times a breeze would spring up prior to their return, making the bay choppy, 
so that the rowers would return drenched to the skin. In former days ves- 
sels wanting boiler water and loading at points on the bay where the desired 
article was not obtainable, were under the necessity of leaving their docks 
and steaming to Eureka to secure water before going to sea. At present 
vessels wishing oil and water lay at their dock and an oil or water barge 
comes alongside giving them whichever they desire, the ship thus being 
saved delay and consequently saved money as well. 

These comparisons between conditions on the bay in the past and at the 
present time are not made in a spirit of criticism. The methods and equip- 
ments of those days were sufficient for the then requirements. When the 
need for larger, better service came, there were men ready to embrace the 
opportunity. The result is that the waterfront is up-to-date. Steamship men 
and travelers are quick to appreciate the launch service on the Humboldt. 
Those who have visited at every port on the Pacific concede that the launches 
here are superior in equipment, design and comfort to any vessels of the 
same class on the entire coast. In 1912 the underwriters of San Francisco 
were considering the advisability of accepting risks on launches and sent their 
representative to survey the launches on the Humboldt bay. As a result 
they adopted them as a standard to which the San Francisco launches must 
adhere in order to be considered insurable risks. 

One June morning ten or more years ago a transparency reading 
"Coggeshall Launch Co., Ferry to Samoa," appeared at the foot of F street, 
Eureka, (this street being the launch center of the port). Capt. W. Coggeshall 
was the "Company," being himself president, secretary, office boy, ticket 
taker, and master of the little boat of twenty-passenger capacity which he had 



300 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

purchased from AVilliam McDade, the Humboldt bay shipbuilder who since 
has made a reputation as a master builder extending from Puget sound to the 
Pacific coast. No one knew anything about Captain Coggeshall except that 
he evidently was a Yankee and smilingly stated that he was from Nan- 
tucket, an island ofif the Massachusetts coast. When he left on his scheduled 
trips across the bay on the little boat, the Island Home, the transparency was 
left to "hold down the job" until he returned. The trim boat attracted favor- 
able attention, but there were already two or three small power boats on 
the bay and the people did not understand how another launch could support 
its owner. Yet within three months Captain Coggeshall had designed the 
Nantucket, Mr. McDade had built the boat and it was in commission, for a 
long time running as the Pomona. The next step of the venturesome Captain 
was the building of an office and the taking in of the transparency. It was 
thereupon freely predicted that the building of the large boat would finan- 
cially ruin the owner, for the Nantucket was the first passenger launch in 
the port and there seemed little use for such a vessel. Yet within a year a 
third launch was designed and built, the next year a fourth was added, a 
year later a fifth was added to the possessions of the company, this being 
the Wannacomet. Two years later the Miacomet was launched and put into 
commission. The first boat was built thirty feet in length with seven horse- 
power ; the last boat was sixty-five feet long, with one hundred and thirty- 
five horse-power. 

After having operated an exclusive passenger service for the first two 
years, Captain Coggeshall then bought one small lighter. At the present 
time, either through purchase or by building, he has come into the owner- 
ship of eleven. The first lighter carried fifteen tons cargo and the last one 
was built for two hundred tons. The company, which is now capitalized at 
$50,000, owns the six launches and eleven lighters, employs a superintendent 
and from sixteen to twenty men, and has the reputation of working its men 
the shortest hours and paying them the highest wages of any company of 
a similar nature operating on any Pacific coast port. About 1911 the com- 
pany purchased the ferry steamer Antelope from the Hammond Lumber 
Company, together with their lighters and good-will, that concern being a 
competitor in a way. 

The Marine Exchange of Humboldt bay was started by Captain 
Coggeshall about 1909. Finding that the general public were in ignorance 
concerning the movement of vessels in San Francisco harbor and along the 
coast, he established the exchange in order to systematize such information 
and to serve as an auxiliary to the general business of the shippers. From 
its nature it is of course not a monev-making proposition. About 1907 the 
Captain made a contract with the government to operate as United States 
mail contractor on all the steam schooners running between Eureka and 
San Francisco. Prior to that time the mail had come to Eureka on two 
steamship lines exclusively. Through his system every steamer between 
this port and San Francisco became a mail steamer and the efficiency of the 
service was greatly enhanced. It had not been uncommon for an interval to 
occur of three days between mails, but under the present system the port 
practically has one mail in and one mail out every day, the exceptions being 
infrequent. All the lighters and launches of the company were designed by 
the Captain and built by Mr. McDade. During the Pacific coast visit of the 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 301 

great American fleet the Captain took the Nantucket and Wannacomet to 
Monterey bay and San Francisco, where they attracted perhaps a greater 
degree of admiring attention than any other boats in evidence. The reputa- 
tion of the company for rehable service is fully established and each year they 
handle three hundred thousand passengers between Eureka and the various 
places of call on the bay. 

When the company took over the New Era park about 1910 its only 
claim to notoriety was a broken-down wharf, a redwood open dance platform 
and several acres of fine trees. Within three months from the date of trans- 
fer New Era park opened up with a casino, 70x150 feet, with a fine floor and 
modern appointments. In point of excellent floor and size of the building, 
Humboldt bay now has the best recreation park and Casino north of San 
Francisco. The first Chautauqua ever held in northern California had its 
headquarters on these grounds, the Casino being used as the auditorium. This 
article is not written for the purpose of exploiting the Coggeshall Launch 
& Tow Boat Company ; yet it is impossible to treat of the bay transportation 
business without dwelling upon the individual and the concern responsible 
for the remarkable transformation of the past decade. Business made the 
great improvement in transportation and Captain Coggeshall happened to be 
the man to work everything out to a definite end. There will always be an 
opportunity at this port. Humboldt bay will be a standard in marine matters 
as long as there are practical men to take advantage of the local opportunity. 
Shipping and commerce are here and the bay business therefore must neces- 
sarily prosper as long as it is under the superintendence of men who thor- 
oughly understand the work and its requirements. 

J. S. MURRAY. — Though not one of the oldest citizens of Eureka, Hum- 
boldt county, Mr. Murray holds the record among its present inhabitants for 
longest continuous residence — from 1858 to the present time. For several 
years previously the family had been settled in Humboldt county. Fie is now 
living retired, but by no means inactive, his beautiful lawn, flower and vege- 
table gardens making his home one of the features of the neighborhood in 
which it is located, and all cared for by his own labor. The Murray family 
have contributed much to the best citizenship of the place, and the father, 
the late John S. Murray, the first representative of the family, made many 
of the original survey's in Humboldt county. 

John S. Murray was a native of Scotland, born at Dysart, near Edin- 
burgh, where he passed his early years. When a young man he went out to 
New Zealand. There he married Janie S. Deuchar, who was born in Aber- 
deenshire, Scotland, and they continued to live in New Zealand until after the 
birth of their eldest two children. Attracted by the stories of gold discov- 
eries in California, these adventurous young people determined to try their 
fortune, and in 1849 came to this country, arriving at San Francisco. After 
two years' residence in that city they came up to Humboldt bay, which Mr. 
Murray had first visited in December, 1850, during the gold excitement at 
Gold Blufif. He returned to San Francisco, and in the spring came back with /4'^/ 
his family, landing in what is now Humboldt county May 31st with his wife 
and two children. They first lived at Areata (then called Union) for several 
years, in 1858 moving to Eureka, where a permanent home was made. Mr. 
Murray was engaged almost exclusively at his profession, surveying, for 
which he found plenty of demand, and was considered so skillful and reliable 



302 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

that he was chosen county surveyor several times. He lived to the age of 
sixty-four years, surviving his wife, who died when about fifty-five years old. 
J. S. is the eldest of their four children ; Margaret S. died in Humboldt county ; 
George D., of Eureka, born at Areata, is judge of the Superior court; Lucy 
A., born at Areata, is the wife of Daniel O. Barto, who resides at Urbana, 111., 
being connected with the University of Illinois. 

J. S. Murray was born March 17, 1848, so he has lived in Humboldt 
county from the age of three years. His education was begun at Areata, but 
acquired mostly at Eureka, where he has lived ever since he removed thither 
with his parents in the year 1858. During his business life he was engaged 
principally in clerical work, being a bookkeeper by profession. He began 
in the employ of L. C. Schmidt & Co., hardware merchants, was subsequently 
with the H. H. Buhne Company, in the same line, and later became connected 
with A. W. Randall, real estate operator, who afterward had a private bank 
and in time a state bank. After Mr. Randall's failure, he took a position with 
Belcher & Crane, who carried on an abstract business, remaining with them 
for a period of five or six years. He is now living retired, one of the most 
esteemed residents of Eureka. During his long association with various busi- 
ness houses of the city he became acquainted with many residents of the 
place, by all of whom he is regarded with the utmost respect, for his kindly 
disposition, modest character and sterling personal qualities. i\Ir. Murray 
built the pleasant cottage home at No. 1407 Fifth street which he and his wife 
have occupied for many years, and the beautiful lawn, profusion of flowers, 
shrubbery and vegetable garden show the loving care which Mr. Murray 
bestows upon them. The place is a veritable landmark of Eureka. Fraternally 
he is a Mason, and a past master of the blue lodge at Eureka. 

In 1872 Mr. Murray was married at Eureka to Miss Mary W. Cutten, a 
native of Nova Scotia, who came to this city in the '60s with her father, Robert 
D. Cutten, at that time a widower with a family of six children, three sons 
and three daughters. Mr. Cutten was a ship carpenter and spar maker, and 
after a time became engaged in the manufacture of shingles. Air. and Mrs. 
Murray have had three children : Jane, who is the wife of H. A. Buck and 
living in San Francisco ; Edward S., of Eureka, and Keith C, who lives at 
San Francisco. The parents are members of the Unitarian Church, with 
which all the family have been associated. 

EDGAR C. COOPER.— Since the world began, affairs of state and of 
government have ever attracted the attention of the most able men of 
the age, challenging their greatest powers, and closely associating them 
with the intimate details of the life of city, state or nation, and ultimately, in 
its largest sense, with the progress of the world. This is particularly so in 
these later days when the science of government has been recognized, and the 
political life of a man lasts only so long as he serves the people — or at least 
keeps them thinking that he does. This last, however, is increasingly diffi- 
cult, and it is quite safe to say that in the commonwealth of California, the 
men who today hold offices in the state are of the finest that are to be found 
here or elsewhere. Among this class may be named the present president of the 
Great Republic Insurance Company of Los Angeles and late state insurance 
commissioner, Edgar C. Cooper, of Eureka, who was appointed to this im- 
portant position by Governor Gillett during the latter part of his term of office, 
and whose term expired in June, 1914. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 303 

In addition to requisites of character and ability, it seems especially ap- 
propriate that the people should have confidence in, and be served in such a 
capacity by, a native son, v\^hich Mr. Cooper is. He M^as born in Eureka, 
Humboldt county, October 6, 1868. He is the son of Solomon and Eliza 
(Wilder) Cooper, natives of England and Maine, respectively, who w^ere mar- 
ried in Massachusetts and came from that state to California in 1852, locating 
in Humboldt county in 1856, and thereafter making that their home. The 
father taught school and later became receiver of public moneys in the United 
States land office at Eureka, w^hich position he held for nineteen years. Edgar 
C. received his education in the public schools of Eureka, graduating from 
the Eureka Academy, and afterward from the Hastings College of Law, in 
San Francisco, in 1891. 

After completing his law studies and being admitted to the bar, young 
Mr. Cooper returned to Eureka, where he began the active practice of his 
chosen profession in partnership with Arthur W. Hill. The private practice 
of the law was not destined to be his life work, however, for his strongest 
inclinations were toward public service, and obtaining the nomination for 
district attorney of Humboldt county on the Republican ticket, in 1898, he 
was elected by a handsome majority. He served in this capacity for four 
years, and in 1903 he was elected city attorney of Eureka, again polling 
a decided majority. He continued to occupy this position until 1906, 
when a wider field opened as the natural result of his unusual ability and his 
splendid grasp of the affairs of the state, and he went to Sacramento as 
private secretary to Governor Gillett. In this new capacity Mr. Cooper 
made many friends and again proved his ability to handle difficult situations 
and to hold in his magnificent mind the multitude of details to be summoned 
when they were of vital importance to his chief. As a further recognition of 
his merit, Governor Gillett, in June, 1910, appointed him insurance com- 
missioner of California, which position he filled until June, 1914, when he 
resigned to assume the presidency of the Great Republic Life Insurance Com- 
pany of Los Angeles. To this company's interests he is giving his active 
attention and the benefit of his years of professional experience. 

Mr. Cooper was married in Eureka, being united with Miss Margaret 
Johnson, a native of Humboldt county, who died in Sacramento in 1909, 
leaving two children : Elizabeth Marie and Dorothy Prescott. 

Always keenly interested in the affairs of his city, county and state. Mr. 
Cooper has been a factor in the affairs of his party for many years, and in 
Eureka, which he still claims as his home, and where he holds large financial 
interests, he is recognized as one of the most influential men in the civic 
affairs of the city. He is progressive and aggressive, broad-minded and clear- 
headed, with a wonderful faculty for grasping a situation in a few moments 
and retaining the details. 

Another phase of affairs which interests this genial statesman is the 
fraternal life of his home city, where he is a member of several of the promi- 
nent orders. Although he has necessarily been away from Eureka for sev- 
eral years, his present official headquarters being in Los Angeles, and his 
secretaryship to the governor requiring his entire time in Sacramento, and 
as insurance commissioner with an office in San Francisco, he has retained 
his several memberships in the orders where he was initiated as a young man, 
feeling that there he would be more at home in the organization. Among 



304 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

such fraternal orders are the Masons, Elks, Odd Fellows, Woodmen of the 
World and the Foresters of America, and it goes without saying that he is 
prominent in the Eureka parlor, N. S. G. W. 

The services that Mr. Cooper has rendered his county and state have been 
clean and energetic. He has never faltered in the execution of his duty, 
and the affairs of his office have always been conducted in a manner that has 
defied criticism, rather demanding praise and appreciation, even from his 
political opponents. 

HARRY W. JACKSON was born in Abbot, Piscataquis county, Maine, 
the son of Elisha B. and Corrilla (Kendall) Jackson, both of whom were 
also born there. The father came to California by way of Panama, in 1851, and 
followed mining at Grass Valley until 1859, when he returned to Maine, where 
he was married. Besides being successfully engaged in the mercantile busi- 
ness, he also manufactured shingles at Abbot, Maine. In 1875 he brought his 
family to Areata, Humboldt county, where he entered the employ of Falk, 
Chandler & Co., lumber manufacturers, near Areata, where he became a 
contractor for the logging department and afterwards was similarly engaged 
with the Elk River Mill and Lumber Co. at Falk until he returned to his home 
in Areata. In his death in 1905 there passed away one of the old time lumber 
men. In 1883, associated with George W. Chandler, and others, he started 
a mill at Blue Lake under the firm name of Chandler, Henderson & Co., which 
mill was moved to the north fork of Mad River in 1886, the present site of the 
Riverside mill, and in the Blue Lake mill in 1883 his son Harry W. Jackson 
began his career in the lumber business. E. B. Jackson was interested in the 
mill until his death. His wife's demise occurred in Areata in 1897. 

The only child born to his parents, Harry W. Jackson was born Jan- 
uary 28, 1863, and was reared in Abbot, Maine, attending the public schools 
until 1875. It was in that year that he came to Areata with his parents. 
After completing his studies in the public schools, he entered the Oakland 
High school, from which he graduated in June, 1883. Immediately thereafter 
he returned to Humboldt county and in the following month entered the 
employ of Chandler, Henderson & Co. as bookkeeper, at the time the mill was 
started at Blue Lake. Besides having charge of the office he incidentally had 
charge of the goods also. In 1886 the mill machinery was moved to River- 
side, where a new mill was built and at that time Mr. Jackson bought Hender- 
son's interest, and the firm became Chandler-Jackson Co. He continued as 
general manager and operated the mill under the above firm name until 1889, 
when Mr. Chandler sold his interest and retired. The remaining partners 
then incorporated the Riverside Lumber Co. with Mr. Jackson as president, 
and under this title business was carried on until 1903, when they associated 
themselves with Charles Nelson Co. of San Francisco and purchased the 
Korbel Mills, also the Areata & Mad River railroad, at the same time incor- 
porating the present company. Northern Redwood Lumber Co., with H. W. 
Jackson, president and general manager; L. Everding, secretary; Frank 
Graham, vice-president, and Charles Nelson Co., treasurer. It is significant 
that after twelve years the officers are still the same as when the business 
was started. 

Since then the company has operated both mills and each has been 
enlarged until its capacity has doubled, having at present a combined capacity 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 307 

of about two hundred thousand feet per day. Dry kilns have been erected so 
that dry finished lumber is shipped from the mill. The company owns exten- 
sive holdings of two billion feet of standing redwood timber accessible to 
the mill. Mr. Jackson is vice-president and general manager of the Areata 
& Mad River railroad, which operates a standard gage road of twelve miles 
from the two mills to Areata wharf, their shipping point, where vessels are 
loaded for all parts of the world. The mill company has also built many 
miles of railroad through the woods, at present operating about twelve miles 
for bringing the logs to the mill. The town of Korbel has a population of 
about four hundred fifty people, who are housed in buildings erected and 
owned by the mill company. 

Aside from this company Mr. Jackson is interested in the Charles Nelson 
company of San Francisco, of which he is vice-president. This latter com- 
pany owns and operates mills at Mukilteo and Port Angeles, Wash., and 
Merced Falls, Cal. For the past twenty-nine years Mr. Jackson has been 
general manager of the company and has always been on hand not only in 
immediate touch with the two mills, but also in close touch with the lumber 
industry on the Pacific coast. For the last few years he has also had the 
general supervision of the manufacture of lumber for the Charles Nelson 
company's plants. He is president of the Humboldt Manufacturers Associa- 
tion of Eureka, which owns and operates the tugs on Humboldt Bay, and is also 
president of the Humboldt Stevedore Company of Eureka. He is also a 
stockholder and director of the Bank of Areata and a stockholder in the 
Areata Savings Bank. 

Mr. Jackson was married in Oakland, being united with Alica M. Betan- 
cue, a native of that city. Mr. Jackson was made a Mason in Areata Lodge 
No. 106, F. & A. M., is a member of Humboldt Chapter No. 52, R. A. M., of 
Eureka ; Eureka Commandery No. 35, K. T., and of Oakland Consistory, 
Scottish Rite, Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of San Francisco, and with 
his wife is a member of the Order of Eastern Star. Mr. Jackson is also a mem- 
ber of Anniversary Lodge No. 85, I. O. O. F., Areata, as well as Eureka 
Lodge No. 652, B. P. O. E. He is an active member and supporter of the 
Areata Chamber of Commerce and also the Eureka Chamber of Commerce. 
He believes firmly that the principles of the Republican party are for the best 
interests of this county. 

GEORGE HENRY MINER.— Some seven miles south of Petrolia lies 
the ranch of George Henry Miner, a young cattleman whose success has 
gained him a position among the substantial operators in his section, where 
he controls eight hundred acres of grazing lands upon which he is raising beef 
cattle and hogs. Mr. Miner has made his way by hard work, but he has 
found time to interest himself in the general welfare, and besides giving due 
attention to his own affairs, encourages all local enterprises which are aids to 
progress, and is looked upon as one of the promising citizens of his vicinity, 
the kind which constitutes the backbone of any community. 

Mr. Miner's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Allen Miner, were early settlers in the 
Mattole valley and among the most highly respected residents of that region 
in their day. Both are deceased, and they are survived by five children : 
Bertha, now the wife of Harry E. Hurlbutt, of Alton, Humboldt county ; 
Annie, wife of Harry Cowan, of Briceland, Humboldt county; George Henry; 
Lee, who lives in the state of Washington; and Delia, wife of S. Nielson, a 



308 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

groceryman at Eureka, Humboldt county. These are the heirs to the Miner 
estate, which includes the larger part of the ranch now operated by George 
Henry Miner. 

George Henry Miner was born December 6, 1879, in the Mattole valley, 
where all his life has been passed. He attended the local public schools, hav- 
ing very good advantages, and since he began agricultural pursuits on his 
own account has been doing well, both as farmer and stockman, though cattle- 
raising has been his specialty. He owns an undivided two-fifths interest in 
six hundred and forty acres as one of the heirs of the Miner estate, and 
leases one hundred sixty acres adjoining. His beef cattle and hogs are in 
good demand in the market, and he is extending his operations as his increas- 
ing capital permits, progressing conservatively but steadily. His property 
lies to the right of the road from Petrolia to Upper Mattole. Mr. Miner is a 
man of friendly, hospitable nature, generous in his relations with his fellow 
men and socially inclined, and he is a member of the Farm Center and one 
of its enthusiastic advocates. He is particularly concerned over the public 
school conditions of his locality, and is at present serving as school trustee, 
in which position he has given efficient service. Politically he supports the 
principles of the Republican party. 

At the age of twenty-five years Mr. Miner was married to Miss Belle 
Lowry, a native of Humboldt county, who has proved a congenial companion, 
sharing the estimation and friendly regard in which her husband is held by 
all his neighbors. Mr. and Mrs. Miner have four children, Edith, Allen, 
Doris and Ruth. Fraternally he is a member of the Woodmen of the World 
at Petrolia. 

FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF ARCATA.— A distinct advance was 
made in the financial affairs of Areata and vicinity with the opening of the 
First National Bank in October, 1913, and with the chartering of the institu- 
tion to conduct a general commercial banking business. Local association 
with the new enterprise appears in the fact that the capital stock of $50,000, 
fully paid up, is held almost wholly by Areata citizens, only small blocks 
of stock being in the hands of outside people. The first officers of the bank, 
the men who are guiding its financial policy in these early years of growth 
and development, are as follows: President, Isaac Minor; vice-president, 
Peter Johansen ; and cashier, J. C. Toal. The president and vice-president also 
act on the directorate in conjunction with A. N. Hunt, Frank Graham and 
Thad A. Smith. 

The structure occupied by the bank, owned by President Minor and 
leased to the bank officials for a term of years, was erected especially for 
banking purposes and contains every equipment suggestel by modern banking 
necessities. In exterior appearance it is simple but substantial, the re-inforced 
concrete being not only fireproof, but also able to withstand the ravages of 
time for several generations. On the northeast corner of Tenth and H streets, 
occupying a space 35x75 feet, in a large lot, the building with its cheerful 
finishing of light tan stone paint, with its illumined sign over the large double 
doors and its large windows lettered in gold, forms a durable and modern 
addition to the business section of the town. Entering the bank one finds an 
L-shaped lobby 10x25 in the south end and 10x65 on the west, finished with a 
six-inch marble base and three oak wall desks. The floor is a varietv of 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 309 

mosaic known as the Terranzo finish. Around the walls are plaster pillars 
twelve feet apart, surmounted by ornamental caps. A beam ceiling, together 
with a five-foot wainscoting, of native pine in the working space and fumed 
oak in the lobby, and a quartered oak counter and partition separating the 
working space and lobby, complete the interior woodwork design. 

The electric fixtures of the bank are modern and the ground glass globes 
give a soft and mellow light. Artificial light, however, is not often found 
necessary, for the building is exceptionally well lighted by large windows on 
the south and west and by two skylights, each ten feet square, over the main 
working space, together with another of the same size over the directors' 
room. The vaults are of modern construction, with sixteen-inch re-inforced 
concrete walls, ceiling and floor, and steel railroad iron set a few inches 
apart in concrete, giving a strength that even a modern sixteen-inch gun 
would have some difficulty in battering to pieces. The outer door is of very 
heavy design and is fitted with a seventy-two-hour, double time lock, and also 
a combination lock of most modern design. The safe deposit department is 
equipped with one hundred and forty-eight modern safe deposit boxes, weigh- 
ing twenty-five hundred pounds and lined with heavy steel. Some of the 
boxes are fitted with combinations and others with keys, and all are adapted 
to the storage of valuable papers, jewelry or coin. A private room known 
as the coupon room has been fitted up for the use of people desiring to rent 
boxes. A strong steel grill and a steel door separate the safe deposit depart- 
ment from the bank vault, in which is the Diebold coin safe, the last word 
in burglar-proof safes. It is fitted with a seventy-two-hour triple-time lock, 
working automatically from the inside, no bolts being exposed on the outside 
of the safe. The interior is equipped with chests for gold and silver with 
combination locks on each. The interior of the vault is lined with Bessemer 
steel, with a four-inch space between the steel and the concrete, which keeps 
the interior of the vault entirely dry. A feature of the bank interior is the 
ladies' rest room, in the north end of the public lobby, where may be found 
a desk telephone for the free use of women, also writing materials and easy 
chairs. In the rear of the building there is a directors' room twenty feet 
square, while opening ofif the public lobby is the office of the vice-president. 
In the construction of the building it was the aim of Mr. Minor to utilize 
the services of the workmen of Areata as far as possible, and he also en- 
deavored to secure the materials in Humboldt county, thus proving his loyalty 
to the people and products of his own locality. In the modern structure with 
its substantial equipment he has realized his ambition to secure the best 
facilities and has made it possible for the bank to adopt for its slogan the 
motto, "Equipped for service." 

JAMES AUGUSTUS HADLEY, M. D.— In the midst of the will-of-the- 
wisp allurements of far-distant fields it is seldom that a young man- selects 
for his permanent home the town of his nativity and the vicinity of his early 
educational training, but the choice of Dr. Hadley in selecting a suitable loca- 
tion for the practice of medicine brought him back to Areata, where he was 
born October 3, 1884, and where his early education was obtained in the com- 
mon schools. The Doctor is a son of James L. and Elizabeth (Newsome) 
Hadley, natives respectively of Vermont and Canada, the former a pioneer 
of 1880 in Humboldt county, where he engaged in teaching in the Indian 
school at Orleans, continuing as a schoolmaster until ill health obliged him 



310 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

to relinquish active duties. The parents still make their home in Areata. 

It was through the influence of his brother-in-law, Dr. F. H. Bangs, that 
Dr. Hadley selected medicine as his preferred field of practice. Accordingly 
he directed his studies with that object in view. Largely through his own 
determined efforts and self-reliant industry he was enabled to take the com- 
plete course of lectures in the Cooper Medical College at San Francisco, from 
which he received the degree of M. D. in 1911. Returning to Areata, he 
opened an office and began to devote himself to a general practice. From the 
first he has been successful. The fact that he has a personal reputation from 
childhood for integrity and high principles of honor has been of the utmost 
value to him in his professional affairs. During 1913 he erected on Sixteenth 
street a fine, modern hospital of fourteen beds, with full surgical equipment 
and all modern appliances, the institution being conducted under the title 
of the Hadley Sanitarium at Areata. In 1914 he incorporated the Areata 
Fraternal Hospital, of which he is president and manager, as well as medical 
director. By his marriage to Hildegard C. Ostermann, a native of Nevada 
City, Cal., he has two sons, George Gordon and Alvin Bruce. Besides being 
a member of the Humboldt County and California State Medical Associations, 
the Doctor acts as physician for the following orders at Areata : Eagles, Red 
Men, Ancient Order of Foresters, Companions to the Order of Foresters, 
Woodmen of the World, Women of Woodcraft, U. P. E. C, I. D. E. S., and 
the National Croatian Society. The Doctor has his offices in the suite of 
rooms his brother-in-law, Dr. F. H. Bangs, occupied thirty years ago. 

FLORENCE HENRY OTTMER, M. D.— It is the privilege of success- 
ful men to have a hobby aside from the specialty that forms a large part of 
their very existence, and Dr. Ottmer, in the midst of engrossing duties as 
a physician and surgeon at Eureka, is no exception to other professional lead- 
ers in having a line of recreation that gives him both work and refreshing 
change of occupation. Always a lover of animals, he has become an expert 
both with the gun and the fishing rod, and many of his vacations are spent 
in the woods or along the streams. As he wandered through fields and forests 
he came to observe and study the birds of Humboldt county, and this study 
led to the making of a collection which is now almost complete. His office 
possesses unusual interest, for in addition to the equipment to be found 
among the possessions of all modern physicians, there is also an exhibit of 
birds native to the county, as well as the skins of bears and other animals that 
have fallen beneath his unerring marksmanship. Almost every year he goes 
to the mountains for a bear hunt and, in the air of the forest and in search 
for game, he finds needed change from the arduous and at times exhausting 
duties of his profession. 

A taste for materia medica and a love for the country come to Dr. Ottmer 
as an inheritance from his father, the late H. C. Ottmer, M. D., who was 
born, reared and educated in Germany, and was a graduate of the St. Louis 
Medical College in Missouri. For perhaps twenty-five years he engaged in 
practice in Warren county near Warrenton, Mo., and there his son, Florence 
Henry, was born December 4, 1861. Three other children were born of that 
marriage, his wife being Helen Archer, who was born in Missouri of Vir- 
ginian parentage. After her death, which occurred at the age of thirty-two, 
the Doctor married her sister, by which union he became the father of two 
children. During 1877 the family came to California. About eight miles from 





^■1 


v^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^m^ ^^i^^^^^^^^^^^^^^l 


^^^^^^^^^1 




^^^^^^^^^^H 


^^^^■^r^l 


^^H^^fl^B 


^^^^^^>:^^^H 


I 1 




1 1 




■ 1 




1 1 




■ 1 


^^^^^^■i^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^E^v^j^ ^^^^HflH^^^^^^^^^^I 


^^^^L^ ^^H 


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^K^\^^t- •■ ' . ^^^^^B 






HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 313 

Healdsburg in Sonoma county the Doctor boug-ht a large fruit ranch on 
Dry creek and there he conducted extensive fruit enterprises with excellent 
results. Longevity was characteristic of his family, his father living to be 
ninety-five and his mother one hundred and three, while his own death 
occurred at the age of nearly eighty years. 

It was not the wish of Dr. Henry C. Ottmer that his son, F. H., should 
enter the profession in which he himself had achieved noteworthy success, 
and his opposition to the plan was so great that he refused to pay the expenses 
of a medical education. With sturdy resolution of purpose, the young man 
set about earning his own way through college. After graduating from the 
State Normal School at San Jose he taught for two years at Bodega, Sonoma 
county, and then took the course of lectures in Cooper Medical College, San 
Francisco, from which he was graduated in 1887. A year was then spent in 
post-graduate work at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York 
City. On his return to California he began to practice in the southern part 
of Humboldt county, but in 1891 removed to Eureka, where since he has 
established an important practice, ranking as one of the foremost physicians 
of the city. His love of nature finds expression in the cultivation of a farm 
of one hundred sixty acres near Yuba City, Sutter county, which he is 
developing into a fruit farm, setting it out chiefly to peaches and almonds. 

With his wife, who was Miss Annie Flutchinson, a native of Santa Rosa, 
this state, he shares in the good wishes of the people in every class of society 
and forms a distinct accession to the citizenship. Having no children of 
their own, they adopted two orphans, Alice E. and Esther M. For some time 
Dr. Ottmer officiated as president of the Gentlemen's Driving Club of Eureka. 
His fraternities are the Elks, Woodmen of the World and Red Men. Partisan- 
ship has not appealed to him in political issues and he maintains an inde- 
pendence of thought that finds expression in a ballot for such candidates as 
he deems best qualified to represent the people, irrespective of party ties. In 
his chosen field of professional labor he has been prospered and abundantly 
merits the prestige and popularity accorded him. 

THOMAS CARR. — Nothing contributed to the American colonization 
of California in greater degree than the discovery of gold. In the years 
following that memorable occurrence men sought the Pacific coast from every 
section of the world, among these Argonauts being Thomas Carr, a native of 
Belfast, Ireland, and an immigrant to the United States in young manhood. 
Daily toil in W^isconsin brought him a livelihood, but nothing beyond a bare 
subsistence, so that he was eager to try his fortune in the great unknown 
region beyond the barren plains and desolate mountains. Nor did he have 
reason to regret the decision that made him a resident of California, for 
although he failed to find the hoped-for wealth in the mines and did not, in- 
deed, become very rich at any time or in any occupation, he made a com- 
fortable living and gained many warm, devoted friends in both Trinity and 
Humboldt counties. 

After having made his home at W^eaverville, Trinity county, from 1852 
to 1868, in the latter year Mr. Carr removed to Humboldt county and settled 
in Eureka, where he was a pioneer carriage-maker. From that time until 
his death he was identified with the county seat. It was his good fortune to 
retain to the last his mental and physical faculties. His clear memory enabled 
him to recall many thrilling events of the '50s and frequently he narrated 

7 



314 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

early happenings that had much to do with the shaping of ultimate achieve- 
ments in the west. Personally he possessed the ready wit of his race, the 
habit of viewing the world with a cheerful spirit and a keen humor from 
which his kind heart kept every trace of satire. While living in Trinity 
county he became a charter member of the North Star Lodge No. 61, L O. O. 
F., and Stella Encampment No. 12, while later he identified himself with the 
Veteran Odd Fellows of Weaverville. Through his marriage to Anne Hodgins 
he became the father of five children, namely : Elizabeth H., Mary A., Emma 
G., Edward Baker and Kate L., Mrs. Harpst, of Eureka. The first-named 
makes her home with Mrs. Harpst, and the others are deceased. 

ISAAC MINOR.— The president of the First National Bank of Areata, 
which institution he organized and opened for business in October, 191-3. is 
Mr. Minor, a pioneer of December, 1853, and through all the intervening years 
an associate in movements for the permanent upbuilding of Humboldt county. 
Whether the elements entering into his success were innate personal 
attributes or whether in part they were quickened by the circumstance of his 
early identification with California, it would be impossible to determine. 
Suffice it to know that he reached the success and that Humboldt county has 
been the center of his large enterprises. To him belongs the credit for the 
building of the W'arren Creek standard-gauge railroad, which makes possible 
a convenient connection with the Northwestern Pacific Railroad. Also to 
him may be given credit for the development of a granite quarry near Areata, 
a plant mining a fine quality of granite that splits like wood, but hardens 
when exposed to the air. Sawmills, creameries, electric lighting systems, 
freight vessels, timber lands and farms represent the varied character of his 
commercial connections and the remarkable change that has come into his 
life since he arrived in Areata, friendless, without money or influence, and in 
the frontier environment of the then Uniontown, the original county seat of 
Humboldt county, took up the task of rising out of day labor into inde- 
pendence. How well he succeeded in reaching the goal of his ambitions is 
a matter of common knowledge throughout the entire county, whose resources 
have been developed under his sagacious supervision and whose opportunities 
he believes to be as great as those ofifered by any section of the state. 

Descended in the third generation from Gen. Ephraim Douglas of Revo- 
lutionary war fame, Isaac Minor is a son of Samuel and Louise (Keller) 
Minor, natives respectively of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and during early 
married life residents of the last-named state, where their son, whose name 
introduces this article, was born on a farm April 8, 1830. The wife and 
mother died in the Keystone state at forty years of age, and later the father 
became a pioneer of Iowa, where he spent his last days in the home of a 
daughter. During the fall of 1851 Isaac Minor came via Panama to California. 
The voyage up the Pacific to San Francisco on the old ship. Monumental City, 
consumed forty-nine days and was filled with peril. More than once the 
passengers had to take turns in pumping the water out of the unseaworthy 
craft. The vessel cast anchor in safety, but on its next voyage was lost. 
Alarch of 1852 found Mr. Minor in Sacramento, where the great flood was in 
progress. All night he worked for $1 an hour, carrying of^ goods that were 
being destroyed by water. In the morning he waded out through the water 
and walked to Chinese Camp in Tuolumne county, where he spent eighteen 
months in prospecting and mining. Chance brought him to Humboldt county 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 315 

during the latter part of 1853. Being young, energetic and capable, he had 
no trouble in securing work, but his independence of spirit led him to prefer 
to work in his own interests rather than in the interests of others. 

A store at Orleans bar on the Klamath river would have brought Mr. 
Minor large profit and permanent employment had it not been for the hostile 
Indians, v/ho killed all of his neighbors and threatened his life, so that after 
two years at that place he was forced to leave. It was during the same period 
of Indian hostility that he became a warm friend of Ulysses S. Grant, then a 
lieutenant, who ten years later was one of the most distinguished figures in 
American military afifairs and general of the entire army, but who at that 
time was unknown and obscure, stationed at Fort Humboldt to provide pro- 
tection for settlers against the Indians. For seven years Mr. Minor operated 
and owned a pack-train and sold goods at the mines, meanwhile meeting with 
many thrilling adventures. His savings were invested in a stock ranch at 
Camp Anderson on Redwood creek and he operated the property until the 
savages burned his buildings and killed a number of his neighbors. To guard 
against further depredations soldiers were stationed on the Minor ranch 
during the winter of 1859. When the troops left conditions remained quiet 
until 1863, when a further outbreak on the part of the Indians caused Mr. 
Minor to leave that district and to join his family at Areata. At the beginning 
of the Indian war he owned one thousand head of cattle and at its close he 
scarcely had one hundred left, but even more disastrous was the damage done 
to buildings of his own and his neighbors, while the greatest disaster of all 
was in the loss of life, his brother, Samuel Minor, being among the many to 
fall victims to the hostility of the savages. When peace had descended upon 
the valley and peaceful vocations were once more possible, he bought one 
hundred and forty acres one mile from Areata on the bottom land and there 
he lived for sixteen years, meanwhile not only farming but also building and 
operating two sawmills with Noah Falk as a partner. Next he built a mill 
at Warren creek four miles north of Areata and operated it for fifteen years 
until the plant was burned to the ground. About 1885 he built the Glendale 
mill, from which power is furnished for the Blue Lake electric light system. 
About 1898 he built a creamery and other buildings on his ranch six miles 
north of Areata and established a station which he named McKinleyville. A 
corps of employes was put to work at the creamery, store, hotel and farm, 
as well as in the Glendale store and on the broad acres of timber land. About 
the beginning of the twentieth century he sold twenty-six thousand acres of 
redwood land in Del Norte county for $960,000, ten thousand acres in Law- 
rence creek in Humboldt county for v$25O,O0O, and three thousand acres on the 
north fork of Mad river for $180,000, and the money received from these sales 
he invested in fifteen thousand acres of sugar pine land fifteen miles from 
the Yosemite valley, considered the finest tract of such land in the entire 
state. This he afterwards sold at a good profit. However, he still retained 
four thousand acres of redwood timber, with mills for the sawing of the 
lumber, as well as one-fourth interest in five ships used for carrying lumber, 
and stock in the tugs used in towing vessels over the bar. Later on he turned 
the property, with mills and vessels, over to the children, who worked the 
timber all out. In 1914 Mr. Minor completed the Minor Theater, opposite 
the First National Bank Building. It is said to be the finest theater in the 



316 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

county, in fact as well equipped as any in the state, and he has also completed 
three store buildings adjoining it. This is now the best portion of the business 
section of the town. 

Mr. Minor was married in Areata to Hannah Caroline Nixon (a sister 
of \A'illiam Nixon), who was born in Fayette county, Pa., December 28, 1839, 
and at the age of three years was taken to Iowa, coming in 1852 via Panama 
to California, where her marriage was solemnized December 20, 1855. Twelve 
children were born of the union, six of whom grew up, as follows : Theodore 
H. and Isaac N., who became capable assistants of their father in his large 
business operations, the former now an extensive oil operator in Bakersfield, 
and the latter owning the Glendale mill property, where he has a large dairy ; 
Mary E., Mrs. H. D. Pressey, of Petaluma, this state; Bertha A., Mrs. L. D. 
Graeter, of Areata ; David K., who was also an assistant of his father, but 
now lives in Oakland ; and Jessie Irene, \lrs. Waters, who resides in Santa 
Rosa. The mother of these children passed away in 1906, and in 1908 Mr. 
Minor was married to Miss Caroline Cropley, a native of Michigan. The 
Cropley family subsequently came to California and ^Ir. Cropley became 
proprietor of the tannery in Areata. In regard to fraternities IVlr. Minor has 
made no associations except with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 
Politically he votes with the Republican party. His personal qualities as a 
man of sterling worth, together with his exceptional business qualifications, 
have given him prominence and prestige throughout the county where, after 
over sixty years of intimate identification, he is still in the forefront 
of financial, agricultural, logging, quarrying and railroad afifairs, a man among 
men, and a citizen of whom his adopted county may well be proud. 

FRANK W. DINSMORE.— The assistant secretary and local manager 
of the Mercer-Fraser Company at Eureka is a member of a Canadian family and 
claims New Brunswick as his native province, having been born in Charlotte 
county November 22, 1868. In the forests near his early home he learned the 
trade of a woodsman and became quite skilled in the use of the axe, so that 
he earned a fair livelihood while still a mere lad. In the meantime he received 
favorable reports concerning opportunities for work in the woods of Cali- 
fornia and for this reason was induced to come to Humboldt county, arriving 
at Eureka on the 1st of June, 1888. Immediately he began to work in the 
lumber woods adjacent to this tow^n, continuing through a long period of 
efficient activity. His fine qualities of head and heart had won the attention 
of the Mercer-Hodson Company and he was taken into their employ during 
1901, remaining with the concern in the later change of title to the Mercer- 
Fraser Company. Through the purchase of stock in 1907 he became a partner 
in the company, with which he has since been identified as assistant secretary 
and manager. His rise from hardships, without influence except his own 
energy and perseverance, to an excellent position with an established con- 
cern, in which he is financially interested, proves him to be a man of force 
of character and energy of will. Fraternally he holds membership with Eureka 
Lodge No. 652, B. P. O. E., and Humboldt Lodge No. 77, I. O. O. F. By his 
marriage to Miss Jessie Gow, a native of Humboldt county and the daughter 
of a pioneer, he has three children, Laura, Theodore and Frances. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 319 

ALBERT NATHAN HUNT.— Although not a native of CaHfornia, Al- 
bert Nathan Hunt is a pioneer in the strictest sense of the word, coming to 
the mining districts in an early day, when he was but a lad, and spending his 
boyhood days so deep in the wildernesses of the California mountains that he 
was able to attend school but three years. In spite of this handicap, however, 
Mr. Hunt has prospered exceedingly in all his undertakings and is today a 
man of wealth and influence and an active power in his community for good. 
He has been associated with the most vital interests of Humboldt county 
for many years, and in Areata where he resides, he is acknowledged to be 
one of the most progressive and broad-minded men of the thriving little 
city. He is interested in many enterprises, but his chief interest lies in real 
estate, farms, farming and cattle-raising being his principal investments, and 
today he owns and operates some of the finest and best improved properties 
in Humboldt county. 

Mr. Hunt was born in Vinal Haven, Knox county. Me., September 30, 
1857. His father was Hon. Fitz Albert Hunt, a stonemason by trade, and 
operated quarries, getting out stone for buildings and monuments ; he also 
ran a farm. He lived in Maine all his life. For thirty-six years he held the 
office of justice of the peace in his township and later was assemblyman for 
many terms. The mother, Jane Calderwood, died when the present citizen 
of Areata was but three weeks old, and when he was a lad of but a few years 
he was taken to be reared by an aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. John Jayne, 
living in Washoe county, Nev. With these relatives he made his home from, 
that time until he reached manhood's estate and started out in life for him- 
self. From Nevada he removed with Mr. and Mrs. Jayne, when he was still 
a small child, to California, about 1864, locating on Yuba river. Sierra county, 
six miles from Downieville, where the uncle was interested in mines. 

When young Hunt was nine years old the family moved to Compton- 
ville, where he attended school for a few years, and later moved into a dis- 
trict where there were no schools within distance that he could attend. He 
remained on the farm working for and with his uncle until he was twenty-one, 
when he went to work on neighboring ranches, saving his earnings and giv- 
ing them to his uncle to apply on the payment of a loan on his ranch. Later 
he went to Pike City and worked for the Alaska Mining Company in their 
mines as a night watchman. After a year of this work the properties were 
destroyed by fire and while he was again looking for employment he received 
an ofl^er to make posts and ties for the company. His brother-in-law, John 
Robertson, was engaged at that time contracting for the making of posts 
and ties, and Mr. Hunt determined to make a venture in the same field. 
Accordingly he secured the profifered work under contract, and not since 
he was nightwatchman at the mines has he ever worked for anyone or ever 
received a wage for his service, ever since working for himself. 

For the next six years Mr. Hunt was successfully engaged in the making 
of posts and ties, under contracting arrangements, and succeeded in accumu- 
lating an appreciable sum of money. He was anxious to try his hand at 
farming and dairying, and also to establish for himself a permanent home. 
Accordingly, in 1887, he came to Humboldt county, for a short time being in 
Eureka, and all the while looking for a satisfactory opportunity to purchase 
land. He finally chose a forty-acre tract of Areata bottom land, partly im- 
proved, which is now his home place. For this land he paid $100 per acre, 



320 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

the highest price paid up to that time, and he was thought to be very unwise, 
but the rise of land has been gradual and a twenty-acre tract adjoining his 
ranch has lately sold for $600 an acre. Here Mr. Hunt started in the dairy- 
ing business with four cows, making butter by hand, and selling it to private 
parties in town. The second year he increased his herd by the purchase of 
ten more cows, bought at intervals during the year. Now he has a splendid 
herd of forty-five picked milch cows, classed as one of the best in the valley. 

When he first began dairying there was not a creamery in the valley, 
and Mr. Hunt was one of the founders of the first creamery built and was 
its first president, and managed it for four years. He gave his services with- 
out compensation, in order that the new enterprise might be made a success. 
This creamery was started in 1893 and was then called the Areata Creamery 
No. 1, but is at present known as the United Creameries, Inc. Mr. Hunt was 
president and director of the compan}^ for four years, and its present success- 
ful business standing is largely due to his unselfish efforts. He is still a 
stockholder in the enterprise. 

Mr. Hunt has continued to add to his real estate holdings, and is now 
one of the largest land owners in the cotmty. About eight years after the 
purchase of the first tract he bought ten acres adjoining the home place on 
the north, paying $150 an acre, all of which was improved land. Two years 
later he added another tract of twenty acres on the south side of the home 
place, for which he paid $200, and still later bought eighty acres north of 
Mad river which has since been well improved, and another twenty acres has 
been added to it, making the ranch one hundred acres, this being in charge of 
his son, Herbert Hunt. The home place, and the later additions of acreage 
have been vastly improved by Mr. Hunt and brought under a high state of 
cultivation. He built a large barn and a commodious, modern residence in 
1901, which are a credit to the community, and a monument to the thrift of the 
owner. 

In 1906 Mr. Hunt made another notable addition to his holdings by the 
purchase of the Dr. Farrar ranch, six miles north of Bridgeville on the Van 
Dusen river. This ranch comprises some two thousand acres and is one of 
the most highly improved stock ranches in Humboldt county today. His son, 
Stanley A. Hunt, has charge of the place, which is devoted to raising cattle, 
sheep and hogs and livestock generally. Mr. Hunt now gives his attention 
to buying and selling, but makes a specialty of dealing in cattle, being one 
of the largest individual dealers in the county. 

Other matters have secured their share of the attention of Mr. Hunt and 
he is generally interested in the business activities in Areata. Among the 
newer and more recent undertakings in which he is interested may be men- 
tioned the First National Bank of Areata, of which he is a director. He has 
always been keenly interested in all that pertains to the welfare of the com- 
munity, and has done much for the upbuilding of his part of the county. He 
is wide awake to the progressive spirit of the times, and with the same 
business sagacity that he has applied to commercial pursuits with such 
great success, he views the civic affairs of the city and the governmental 
affairs of county and state, building for the future, as well as caring for the 
present. In politics he is a Republican, a party man of the highest type, 
supporting his party because he believes the party is right, but willing and 
ready at all times to use energetic measures to be certain that it stays right, 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 321 

and that it strives only for the best of the community and of the' people 
generally. 

Mr. Hunt, together with his family, is a member of the Alliance Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, in which he is an influential personality and he 
and his wife are members of the official board. The family and home life 
of Mr. Hunt is full of interest. He was married May 2, 1881, in Plumb 
Valley, to Miss Mary Ann Robertson, a native of California, and born Janu- 
ary 14, 1862, in Forest City, Sierra county. The parents of Mrs. Hunt both 
came from England, her father, John Robertson, having been born in Birming- 
ham, February 13, 1823, and her mother, Eliza Rudd, in Devonshire, in July, 
1825. They both came to California by way of the Isthmus, but became ac- 
quainted after reaching the coast, and were married in Sierra county, about 
1860. In the early days of his life on the coast Mr. Robertson engaged in 
mining, but later followed his trade as a blacksmith. He died in Humboldt 
county in 1909, his wife having passed away in Sierra county a few years 
previous. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hunt became the parents of nine children, all but one 
of whom are now living, Charles Elmer, their eldest born having passed 
away when twenty-six years of age. The living members of their family 
are Cora Bell, now married to Andrew Jackson Taylor, and living in Modesto; 
Stanley Albert, manager of the Bridgeville ranch ; Herbert Wesley, who mar- 
ried Jessie Whitmore, and is manager of the Mad river ranch ; Vernon Les- 
ter, now attending dental college in San Francisco ; William Vinal, manager 
of the home ranch ; John Russell, attending Humboldt State Normal ; Chester 
Eugene and Geraldinc. They are all well known in Humboldt county, where 
they were born, and where they received their education. 

Mr. Hunt is more actively engaged in business than ever and still man- 
ages and controls his extensive interests, besides which he is associated with 
all movements of interest in and around Areata. However, he attributes his 
success in no small degree to the assistance of his faithful wife, who was 
always ready to aid with faithful hands and to lend him every encourage- 
ment in achieving their ambition to own their own home. His ambition, 
fostered from childhood, was the owning of his own ranch and working with 
stock. Both INIr. and Mrs. Hunt are very kind and charitable and are known 
for their liberality and hospitality. Mr. Hunt is well read, and keeps posted 
on all questions of public interest while the financial pulse of the countrv is 
constantly under his eager fingers, and judged with the skill of an expert 
financier. 

HUGH WEBSTER M'CLELLAN.— For thirty years before his death 
a resident of Eureka, Mr. McClellan was always considered one of the most 
desirable citizens of that place, and became associated with a number of its 
interests. But his principal reputation was acquired in the sheep business, in 
which he engaged extensively and successfully, in that connection having a 
wide acquaintance all over northern California. After settling at Eureka he 
made investments from time to time in the city, owning bank and factory 
stock, but his attention centered about his agricultural operations, which he 
carried on to the end of his days. 

Mr. McClellan was of Scotch ancestry, and his branch of the family was 
established in this country by his great-grandfather, who came from Scot- 
land and settled on a large farm in Franklin county, Mass. It was a valuable 



322 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

property and he carried it on successfully, and most of his children followed in 
his footsteps, adopting agriculture as their calling. One of his sons, John, was a 
member of the general assembly in Massachusetts and for many years a 
prominent politician of that commonwealth. 

Hugh McClellan, father of the late Hugh Webster McClellan, was born 
in Franklin county, Mass., was a prosperous farmer all his life, and died in 
his prime, at the age of forty-five years. He was a man of modest disposition 
and retiring habits, and his principal interest outside of the cultivation of his 
farm was in his church. On political questions he was a stanch Whig, but he 
never took part in party activities or public affairs. He married Lucy Smith, 
also a native of Massachusetts, who survived him and remarried, removing to 
Chautauqua county, N. Y., and thence to Aurora, 111., where she lived to the 
age of eighty-two years. Her son Hugh Webster McClellan was born October 
31, 1837, at Charlemont, Franklin county, Mass., and was but five years old 
when his father died. He was a boy of twelve when he accompanied his 
mother to Chautauqua county, N. Y., and a few years later the family settled 
in Illinois, where his pioneer experiences began. When he was sixteen he was 
employed breaking raw prairie land in Kane county, that state, and two 
years later he went up to Fillmore county, Minn., where he found work in a 
sawmill. In 1857 he joined a railroad surveying party working over the 
southern part of that state, and two years later he set out for the Pacific 
coast. He made the journey by way of New York City and the Isthmus of 
Panama, landed at San Francisco, and soon afterward took passage on the 
steamer Columbia for Crescent City, Cal., to join his brother, Rhominer Smith 
McClellan, who had preceded him to the west in 1852 and had been in the 
livery and freighting business at Crescent City since 1854. The Columbia 
made three round trips before she could make a safe landing at Crescent City, 
so that Mr. McClellan spent two months on the ocean between his embarka- 
tion and his arrival at Crescent City, where he spent the next three years in 
his brother's employ. Then he concluded to try his fortune in the new min- 
ing country in the Boise basin, in Idaho, whither h© journeyed by way of 
Jacksonville, Ore. In time he purchased his brother's business, operating 
pack trains principally between Umatilla, Ore., and Idaho and Montana, and 
he had a prosperous experience, adding several hundred dollars to his acquisi- 
tions by its sale in the year 1866. On one of his trips he covered a distance of 
five hundred miles, with forty-five pack mules, through a wild and sparsely 
settled region supposedly infested by Indians ; and though he had no special 
protection he was not troubled much by the savages, nor did he suffer any 
loss of stock or provisions by the way. 

By this time he was anxious to make a visit to his old home in Massa- 
chusetts, but it proved very expensive, for the brother-in-law with whom he 
left his money while in New York City lost it, and Mr. McClellan had to 
borrow $40 to meet his expenses on the return trip to California. He resumed 
freighting, conducting a pack train between Umatilla and points in Idaho, 
and though he had most of the adventurous experiences which the daring 
souls of that day had to face he was fortunate in escaping disastrous conse- 
quences, either to himself or his property. It was while thus engaged that 
he made an acquaintanceship which led him into what proved to be the 
chief business of his life. He met a man who was in search of a young man 
to go into partnership with him in the sheep business, and they came to terms 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 323- 

before long, the arrangement being that Mr. McClellan was to work as an 
employee two years, and then become a partner. After the association was 
formed they purchased twenty-two hundred head of sheep, which they drove 
to near Bridgeville, in Humboldt county, Cal., and the two men continued to 
hold their interests in common for the five years following, doing a highly 
satisfactory business. Then they divided their property, the partner retiring 
with a competency, and Mr. McClellan keeping his share of the sheep and the 
range, which gave him a fine start for the extensive business he was to 
develop. He became known as one of the most successful sheep raisers in 
Humboldt county, his pastures covering eleven thousand acres- of deeded land 
and an equal area of government range, on which he grazed about five thousand 
head of sheep, as well as about one hundred cattle and a few horses. Besides, 
he owned a twelve-hundred-acre tract of farming land in Coos county, Ore. 
In 1881 he established his home at Eureka, at which place he resided the rest 
of his life, dividing his time between his home and his ranch, which he man- 
aged with excellent judgment. In addition to his attractive home at Eureka 
he acquired considerable city property, and he gave part of his time to the 
management of his banking and manufacturing interests. He was one of the 
organizers of the Humboldt Bay Woolen Alills Company, of which he was 
a director; was a director of the Humboldt County Bank for a number of 
years and also held the same connection with the Home Savings Bank. Pub- 
lic afifairs never received any share of his attention except what he thought 
was due to the community from any public-spirited citizen whose duty to his 
fellow men required him to take a stand on questions affecting the general 
welfare. He had the moral courage and unshakable honesty of his Scotch 
blood, and his conservativeness was the caution of forethought and not the 
disposition to lag behind when new ideas were on trial. All that he pos-' 
sessed he acquired through his own efforts, and he deserved the success he 
won. Yet he always had a kindly feeling for young men just commencing to 
climb the hard road over which he had "arrived," and was ready with encour- 
agement and assistance to give them a timely lift. His death occurred at 
Eureka December 31, 1911, in his seventy-fifth year. ]\Ir. McClellan was a 
member of Lincoln Lodge No. 34, K. P., of Eureka. He was a Republican 
in his political views. 

In Humboldt county, July 24, 1872, Mr. McClellan married Miss Martha 
Cook, who was born in Henry county, Iowa, daughter of Joel and Charlotte 
(Thornburg) Cook, and the following children were born to them: Hugh 
Smith, who died when ten years old ; Lucy C, who died when two years old ; 
John W., who has managed his father's ranch for a number of years ; Jean- 
nette, Mrs. Graham ; Gertrude, ]\Irs. Eraser, and Ethel, all of Humboldt 
county. 

ANNA BARBARA GASSER.— The possession of strong, forceful char- 
acteristics, an inheritance from Teutonic ancestry, has enabled Dr. Gasser 
to rise by invincible determination to a high position among the osteopathic 
practitioners of Northern California. Her father, Frederick Wille (well-to-do 
farmer of the Black Forest in Germany), brought the family to California 
and settled in Stockton in 1878. The daughter received the advantages of 
the schools of the San Joaquin valley. Mental and physical qualifications 
admirably adapted her for the difficult profession of nursing and she engaged 
in such work with growing success and popularity, first at Stockton and then 



324 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

in the Burke Sanitarium near Santa Rosa. In 1890 she became the wife of 
Henry Gasser. Recently Dr. Gasser purchased a ranch of four hundred and 
twenty acres near Philhpsville, Humboldt county, which Mrs. Gasser named 
Fairmont ranch. It was improved with a vineyard and a varied assortment 
of apples, pears, peaches, plums and prunes. It is her intention to develop 
the ranch into a summer health resort known as Camp Gasser, and in this 
large enterprise she has the cordial co-operation of Mr. Gasser, who will 
have the purest of milk and butter, the freshest of eggs, the fattest of 
poultry as well as the choicest fruits for the guests of the country home. 

A complete course of study at the California College of Osteopathy, San 
Francisco, followed by graduation in 1903, prepared Dr. Gasser for her life 
work and further preparation was had through a special course in electricity. 
In Eureka she owns a comfortable bungalow at No. 1036 E street and here 
she has her office. In the decade of her practice she has won an unusually 
large list of patients and friends. As a practitioner she combines skill and 
tact with an unusually profound knowledge of the needs of the body as well 
as accuracy in diagnosis of disease, so that she is remarkably well qualified 
for success in the profession. The State Association of Osteopathy and 
journals dealing with the science receive a due share of her attention and she 
continues to be a thoughtful student of the profession, affiliating with her 
alma mater as well as the parent school in Missouri. While a large practice 
leaves her little leisure for outside enterprises, she is a member of the Civic 
Club of Eureka and gives her support to all organizations or movements for 
the permanent progress of the city and county. 

HENRY MELDE. — Even from his earliest childhood floriculture has 
appealed to Henry Melde with peculiar emphasis. In Silesia, Germany, where 
he was born, he began to care for a little garden of vegetables and flowers 
when he was only six years of age and at thirteen he sold grapes of his own 
raising. So unquestionably keen and strong was his liking for that line of 
work and so deep his interest in watching the development of plant life that 
he was apprenticed to the nursery business, and after completing his appren- 
ticeship he became assistant in a large nursery in Dresden and later served in 
a similar position in Leipsic and Erfurt, during this time developing his natural 
appreciation by cultivated tastes and thorough training. During the years 
1871 and 1872 he was in and near Rio Janeiro, Brazil, making a scientific study 
of tropical vegetation. Shortly after his arrival in New York City in the fall 
of 1872 he secured employment as an assistant in a florist's establishment 
and in that capacity decorated the famous Delmonico restaurant. For six- 
teen years after his arrival in San Francisco via Panama in 1874 he followed 
his chosen occupation there, first as a landscape gardener for Gen. W. H. 
Barnes, later as florist and gardener for Governor Latham and eventually 
established himself as a florist in that city, having a nursery of his own. How- 
ever, the location did not prove desirable, as the vapor thrown off in the man- 
ufacture of strong acids at the chemical works destroyed his plants. It 
was for this reason that he decided to try a new location, choosing Eureka, 
among the sequoias, as his field of operation. 

Since coming to Eureka in 1890 Mr. Melde has devoted himself very 
closely to his chosen calling and has received the growing appreciation of 
people competent to judge in such matters. Not easily or rapidly did he 
win his way to recognition as one of the foremost nurserymen of northern 
California, but an intelligent mastery of his occupation has enabled him to 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 325 

make good. A brief period was given to the raising of vegetables, but as 
soon as practicable he started a nursery. The initial step in this direction 
was the buying of a tract of stump land near Sequoia Park, and then he 
cleared the land of its stump and brush, so that it was in shape for profitable 
work. For the convenience of the business he has erected three hothouses 
with twelve thousand feet of glass, and this affords ample facilities for the 
growing of delicate plants and flowers requiring careful nurture. One of his 
chief pleasures has been the developing of new kinds of plants and flowers, 
and the Cactus Dahlia represents his latest effort in that direction. Some 
of his special varieties have been shipped to the east and even as far away as 
Germany, for his reputation is by no means limited to the county and state of 
his residence, but extends among florists and nurserymen in other sections 
of the world. His residence is built on seven big redwood stumps. The 
foundation, which is utilized as a basement, is not only unique, but for per- 
manency and durability could not be improved upon, and its use demonstrates 
the forethought and genius of the builder. 

After an absence of forty-one years from his old German home, in the 
fall of 1913 Mr. Melde returned thither, not only for the purpose of renewing 
the friendships of early youth, but also in order to study plant conditions in 
Belgium, Holland and Germany. While away he had the privilege of 
attending the International Exhibition at Ghent and found it a source of 
artistic delight as well as occupative advancement. Among the collection 
of plants that he brought back with him to this country there were new 
varieties of rare plants. His work is his joy and his life. His family consists 
of his wife, also a native of Germany, and three sons, two of whom are his 
able assistants. 

Air. Alelde is very optimistic for the future greatness of Humboldt 
county. Its forests are the finest and most imposing in the world. When 
one considers the age of the sequoias and all that has happened during their 
centuries of growth, to say nothing of the beauty which they add to the 
scenery, it is well worth a trip across the continent for one day's view. M,r. 
Melde is convinced that Humboldt county will some day be a very popular 
summer resort, only needing exploiting of its natural advantages and cli- 
matic conditions to bring it to the attention of the public. 

EGIDIO TANFERANI.— For fourteen years a resident of Humboldt 
county, Cal., where he owns a valuable ranch adjoining the town of Loleta 
where he is engaged in the dairy business, Egidio Tanferani is a native of 
Italy, where he was born in Alonte Crestese, near the city of Domodossola, 
Novara, xA.pril 18, 1870, his father being Ennocente Tanferani, a farmer and 
dairy man of importance at Monte Crestese. Both parents are still living, 
Egidio, the oldest of their six children, receiving his education in the public 
schools, and from a lad making himself useful on the farm, learning dairying 
as it was done in that part of Italy. In 1901 he left his native land, coming 
to Eureka, Cal., where he immediately found employment in a dairy near 
Ferndale, Humboldt county. Five years later he rented a ranch near Fern- 
dale, and one year later removed to the P. Kelly place near Ferndale, where 
he leased one hundred twenty acres of bottom land and became very suc- 
cessful in the management of a dairy of eighty cows. After seven years spent 
on the Kelly place he had accumulated some means, and being desirous of 
owning a ranch he in 1912 purchased his present property from Hill Broth- 



326 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

ers, an estate which comprises fifty-eight and one-quarter acres of land 
adjoining Loleta. This ranch being all rich bottom land, Mr. Tanferani here 
raises hay, beets and carrots, and the product of his dairy herd of forty milch 
cows he sells to Libby, McNeill & Libby Company. Upon his estate he has 
erected commodious buildings, including a modern two-story residence, 
where he has made an attractive home for his wife and three children, Clelia, 
Ennocente and Angel. Mrs. Tanferani was before her marriage Felecita 
Leonardi, born in Monte Crestese, the daughter of Angelo, a dairyman and 
farmer. She came to Humboldt county in March, 1909, and in April of that 
year married Mr. Tanferani. In his political interests, Mr. Tanferani is a 
member of the Republican party. 

JESSE N, LENTELL. — Much of the important engineering work 
which has made Eureka so desirable a place of residence and so favorable a 
location for manufacturing and other business enterprises is the work of 
Jesse N. Lentell, a leading civil engineer of this portion of California, who 
served eleven years in this capacity for the city. In that and other capaci- 
ties he has made a name for accuracy and reliability so well deserved that 
he has had the honor of making the large relief map of Humboldt county 
which formed part of the county's exhibit at the Panama Pacific Exposition 
of 1915, at San Francisco. He did this work under contract with the county 
supervisors. Mr. Lentell has a state map, and a number of city and county 
maps to his credit, railway and road surveys, and other work requiring 
expert knowledge of his profession. In the course of a busy career he has 
acquired interests of considerable value, particularly in water and water- 
power projects and timber lands on the Mad river in this region. 

Mr. Lentell's father. Rev. Jesse V. Lentell, was a Baptist minister, and 
was stationed at Worcester, Mass., at the time of the birth of his son Jesse. 
His mother's maiden name was Louisa R. Burroughs. Jesse N. Lentell 
was born at Worcester January 31, 1861, and was a child when his father 
removed with the family to Amherst, growing up at the various places to 
which his father's work took the family. His high school education was 
received at Amherst, Mass. His brother Junius V. Lentell having gone out 
to Nebraska, became engaged in farming at Valley, that state, and he 
persuaded Jesse to join him. The latter was then twenty years old. He 
farmed and taught school in Nebraska for a while, until he decided to return 
east and fit himself for civil engineering, taking a special course in that 
science at Lebanon, Ohio. After that he came out to California, locating at 
Oakland in the year 1883. There he became a deputy in the city engineer's 
office,^ working for the city one year, after which he took a position with 
the Contra Costa Water Company, now known as the Oakland Water 
Company. He remained in their employ for a year and a half, at the end of 
that period, in 1886, coming up to Humboldt county and settling at Eureka, 
where he still makes his home. Before long he had been commissioned to 
resurvey the city, fixing grades and street lines, and he made the first city 
sewer plan. Having made a reputation by his excellent work he was given 
the position of city engineer, which he held for eleven years, during which 
time he also filled the position of county surveyor for two years, combining 
the duties of both offices very efifectively. His next work was for the 
Eureka and Klamath River Railway Company, surveying and laying out its 
road from Samoa to Little River, about twenty miles, and he has since been 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 329 

called upon to make various other railway surveys and locate railroads. 
For one summer season he had charge of the Crescent City and Grants 
Pass Railroad. In 1907 he located the Trinity state highway, from Salt 
creek to Mad river, a stretch of twenty-eight miles. He has made plans 
for a gravity system of water supply for the city of Eureka, to obtain pure 
citv water from the Alad river as well as electric power, at a cost of one 
million dollars. In 1898 he published a state map, which he revised in 
1904; besides which he published a map of the city of Eureka and several 
maps of Humboldt county, and also of several counties in California. The 
many large works to his credit, some of them carried out under difficulties 
which would have appalled a man of less resource, are sufficient evidence 
of his ability and thoroughness. Personally he is a citizen whom Eureka 
is proud to claim. 

Mr. Lentell makes his home at No. 3120 D street, Eureka. He was 
married at Eureka in 1908 to Mrs. Frances Sunol Angus, a talented teacher 
and writer. She met with an automobile accident at San Jose in 1910, 
which proved fatal. Fraternally, Mr. Lentell is a member of Eureka Lodge 
No. 652, B. P. O. E., and Eureka Lodge No. 636, L. O. O. M., and he also 
belongs to the Humboldt Club. 

EDWARD JACKSON ROGERS.— Ed Rogers, as he is popularly called, 
is the proprietor of the Rogers Resort, an excellent hotel near Bridgeville, 
Cal., of which property he is joint owner with his mother. The whole- 
hearted generosity and kindness of his nature which have endeared him to all 
his patrons are the outgrowth of Mr. Rogers' Irish ancestry, for both his 
parents were natives of the Emerald Isle whose people are known for the 
spontaneity of their temperament; and the ready wit of that nation is well 
exemplified in Mr. Rogers, whose smiling face and genial manner have made 
him perhaps the most popular of all the hotel-keepers in southern Humboldt 
county. 

The mother of ]Mr. Rogers was Jennie Lewis, who removed wdth her 
parents from Ireland to Canada at the age of one year ; thence she went to 
San Francisco, at which place she met and was married to Edw^ard Hugh 
Rogers. Of this marriage three children were born : John H., who is now a 
dairyman at Lexington, Wash., and is married to Mary Friel of Ferndale, 
Cal., by whom he has six children (Genevieve, Estella, Norton, Neil, Margaret 
and John) ; Genevieve, now the wife of Watts Jeans, a farmer in Idaho; and 
Edward Jackson, who was born on the Van Dusen, near Carlotta, Humboldt 
county, June 26, 1876, and grew up in the hotel business at Rogers Resort, of 
which he is now the proprietor. The father had lived in both New York and 
San Francisco, and upon coming to Humboldt county started out for himself 
in the hotel business. He built the old Van Dusen House below Flannigan's 
mill, which was the first hotel and summer resort on the Van Dusen river and a 
very popular place. This house was burned, after which Mr. Rogers built the 
present Rogers Resort four miles north of Bridgeville. The father died 
twenty-three years ago, at the time of his death being the owner of twenty- 
two hundred acres of land. The mother is still living and runs the Hotel 
Grand at American Falls, Idaho. Rogers ranch is located sixteen miles south 
of Carlotta and now comprises about three hundred acres and is owned by 
Mr. Rogers and his mother, where he is also engaged in raising cattle, his 
brand being two 3's facing each other. 



330 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Mr. Rogers' popularity is bringing him well deserved advancement in 
his chosen line of work, and he neglects no means of making his hostelry 
one that will be frequented by numerous visitors. At present he is spending 
thousands of dollars in building an addition to the main structure, rebuilding 
and remodeling, and beautifying the grounds and drives about the hotel ; 
and it is safe to prophesy that the years will bring to Mr. Rogers unprece- 
dented success in his business in return for his efforts to make his hotel 
an ideal one for his guests. 

GEORGE UNDERWOOD.— Few men in any field of work have the 
satisfaction of experiencing more real success than Mr. Underwood has been 
rewarded with in his forty years as an educator. Now, filling his fourth term 
as county superintendent of the public schools in Humboldt county, Cal., he 
has every reason to feel gratified with the approval his unselfish efforts have 
met, for the large majority he received at each election is an unmistakable 
indorsement of his services. The loyalty and support of his associates in 
the profession, and of former pupils, however, afford him probably his 
greatest pleasure and have been a spur to continued achievements for many 
years past. Mr. Underwood is a native of Ohio, born April 29, 1855, at 
Pleasant Ridge, Hamilton county, son of Benjamin F. and Mary Jane (Bell) 
Underwood. He was reared in the state of his birth, and after obtaining what 
education the common schools there afforded took a thorough course at the 
National normal school at Lebanon, Ohio, an institution of high standing 
whose influence undoubtedly had much to do with his early proficiency in the 
profession. He had been brought up as a farmer boy, but he commenced 
teaching at the age of nineteen years and has followed the calling without 
interruption since. For five years he was engaged in the district schools of 
Butler county, Ohio, but he was ambitious to try his fortune in the great west, 
and in the year 1882 he settled in California. He immediately secured a 
position as teacher, and did notable work at Rohnerville, Humboldt county, 
where he was principal of the public school for a period of fifteen years, 
during which time the grammar school of that place attained a reputation 
as one of the best of its class in the state. Mr. Underwood's successful 
methods and conscientious, effective attention to his pupils attracted general 
notice, and in the fall of 1902 he received the nomination of county superin- 
tendent of schools, on the republican ticket, being elected by a majority of 
two thousand. His fellow teachers and former pupils took an active part in 
the campaign, giving him personal support and winning over their friends in 
large numbers, and his constituents had no reason to regret their choice. Since 
then he has been re-elected to succeed himself in 1906, 1910 and 1914 with 
large majorities. He first entered upon the duties of his ofifice January 1, 1903, 
and modestly but resolutely set about the task of introducing into all the 
schools of the county the methods which had proved so superior at Rohner- 
ville. His re-elections are sufficient evidence that he has not disappointed the 
people in his grasp of his responsibilities or his ability to carry them. They 
have given him a free hand and encouraged him to do his best, and he has 
not failed them, the fine record he has made for himself being merely the 
reflection of the high standard which the schools of Humboldt county have 
attained under his administration. Before his election as superintendent he 
refused offers of other positions because of his interest in his work at Rohner- 
ville, which was returned in kind by his fellow citizens there. The basis of 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 331 

his system is to instruct pupils in the method of acquiring information for 
themselves rather than teaching them the comparatively few things which 
may be mastered by pure effort of memory, instructing them to know things 
because they know the "reason why." It is to his special credit that his 
pupils at the Rohnerville grammar school were admitted to the third year 
of the Berkeley and other high schools of the state without the usual pre- 
paratory course. Because of his authoritative position among educators he 
has frequently been solicited for contributions to educational journals and 
other publications, his articles having a popular circulation. 

Mr. Underwood is highly appreciative of the trust which the citizens of 
Humboldt county have placed in him, and also of the friendly esteem in 
which he is held by his fellow educators. Throughout his career he has 
endeavored to increase his fitness for his chosen work by continued study, and 
as a scholar he is looked up to by all who have had the opportunity of 
estimating his attainments. His executive ability has been as valuable as his 
mental training in every position he has been called upon to fill, and he has 
developed as new responsibilities have come to him, proving capable wherever 
placed. All his efforts are being directed toward maintaining a state of 
efficiency in the Humboldt county schools above criticism, and his energy 
has aroused a similar spirit among all his assistants. 

In 1884 Mr. Underwood was married to Miss Annie Davis, daughter of 
John B. Davis, who came to Rohnerville in pioneer days. Three daughters 
and one son were born to them, the son dying in infancy. The daughters 
are : Stella Irene, who served four years as her father's assistant and is 
now the wife of S. C. Forsey, residing in Oakland ; Rilma Anita and Dariel May. 

Mr. Underwood is a Mason and an Odd Fellow, belonging to Eel River 
Lodge No. 147, F. & A. M., and Eel River Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Rohner- 
ville, and with his wife is a member of Rohnerville Chapter No. 7(i, O. E. S.. 
Mrs. Underwood is a member of the Congregational church. Mr. Underwood 
has been a prominent member of the Ninth District Agricultural Association, 
which he served as secretary for a period of seven years. With his family 
he resides at No. 1016 Ninth street, where their many friends and acquain- 
tances are welcomed with true hospitality and goodwill. 

WILLIAM S. CLARK. — There is hardly a phase of the development 
of Eureka, Humboldt county, Avith which William S. Clark, the present 
mayor of the city, has not been associated during the thirty years of his 
career as a business man here. His father, the late Hon. Jonathan Clark, 
owning large real estate interests here, opened Clark's addition to the town 
and had planned and started the second enlargement at the time of his 
death. Up to that time William S. Clark had followed his early inclinations 
for agricultural pursuits, but when the care of the valuable estate passed into 
his hands he had to continue the work begun if he expected to realize on it, 
and thus his extensive operations had their origin. His transactions have been 
numerous and important, establishing stable values in different portions of 
the town, for like his father he has planned with an eye to the future good, 
a fact which has been sufficiently apparent to enhance his popularity. The 
townspeople have shown him many honors and at present, besides holding 
the chief executive office, he is commissioner for Humboldt county to the 



332 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

Panama-Pacific Exposition. His business and social connections are nu- 
merous and creditable. 

Mr. Clark is a native of Humboldt county, born February 20, 1858, at 
Bucksport, son of Jonathan and Maria (Ryan) Clark. His education was 
acquired in the public schools of Eureka. When he began work he applied 
himself to farming, and as soon as he became of age his father turned over 
to him the management of a dairy farm of six hundred acres which he owned, 
at Table Bluff, this county. This occupied his attention for several years 
following, and he was gaining steadily in knowledge and experience of the 
calling he had chosen when his father's death made it necessary for him to 
handle all the interests of the estate instead of the comparatively small 
portion which he had looked after prior to that time. He has but one sister, 
Eliza, and her interests as well as their mother's have been faithfully cared for 
by Mr. Clark. 

As his real estate operations have been his chief responsibility it will 
be interesting to see how much Mr. Clark has contributed to the growth 
of his city in that line. Little of the second enlargement of Clark's addition 
to Eureka had been sold when he assumed his father's interests, and he 
sold off most of the remainder in town lots. In 1900 he platted a third enlarge- 
ment to the Clark addition, a tract of about two hundred acres which 
within a few years he had sold in acre blocks or as residence lots. Now 
most of the southwestern portion of the residence district of Eureka is com- 
prised in Clark's additions, and Mr. Clark has also been interested in an 
eastern addition to the town — thirteen acres on Seventeenth and J streets 
which he laid out in company with Ernest Sevier. Large lots were laid 
out and the subdivision, sale and improvement of the tract were planned with 
the greatest care, no pains being spared to convert it into highly desirable 
residence property. Many handsome homes have been erected thereon. 
Mr. Clark also built the South Park race track, which he has since cut up 
into city lots. To encourage home builders the Eureka Land & Home Build- 
ing Association was formed, and he has been one of the influential factors in 
shaping its policy, which has provided opportunities for those desiring to 
acquire homes, without capital or financial backing. He is a director of that 
concern and an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, of which he is 
a past president. His personal investments in the city are so large as to be 
proof positive of his sanguine opinion regarding its continued prosperity. 

For a number of years Mr. Clark has supplemented his private activ- 
ities with public service. After two terms of service in the city council he 
was elected mayor in 1903, and his administration was so favorably remem- 
bered that in June, 1913, he was elected for another term, which he is now 
filling. It was quite in keeping that the honor of representing Humboldt 
county at the Panama-Pacific Exposition should fall to him. Politically he 
has always been a Republican. Socially he is a member of the B. P. O. Elks 
and of the Sequoia Yachting and Boating Club, being a director of the latter 
body, which he helped to organize. 

On June 2, 1886, Mr. Clark was married to Miss Celia Griffin, who was 
born in Humboldt county, daughter of John and Mary Griffin. A family of 
four children has been born to them: Jonathan Earl, Alice E., William S. 
and Lee D. 




/\i4h'^ULA/J 




HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 335 

ROBERT HENRY.— The genius of the inventor seems full often to 
have flowered in the heart of the pioneer, who ever made a virtue of necessity 
and constructed for himself from the materials at hand such implements and 
tools as were needed for his work. And it was no unustial thing for these same 
articles to prove far better than one had ever deemed possible, and from such 
simple beginnings as these have come great inventions and articles of value 
to mankind. A California pioneer who possesses the gift for invention in a 
marked degree is Robert Henry, of Blue Lake, who already has given the 
world a number of clever devices and who is now at work on several more 
which he hopes soon to have perfected in all their minor details. 

Mr. Henry is a native of York county. New Brunswick, having been 
born on a farm near Fredericton, October 4, 1844. He was the son of Robert 
and Elizabeth (Scott) Henry, both of whom died when Robert was a small 
child. He attended private schools for a few years, this being before the days 
of public schools in that part of the province. Besides being left an orphan, 
circumstances were such that he was forced at an early age to start out for 
himself. He worked in the woods in the spring of each year driving logs 
on the rivers, and working on the ranches in the neighborhood during sum- 
mers when the work in the woods was slack. The first year he received 
$7 a month for his labor, and the second year was raised to $10. 

Following this line of occupation Mr. Henry lived in New Brunswick 
until he was twenty-one years of age, when he determined to come to the 
United States, where the opportunities were better and where he would 
also escape the rigors of winters in the north. Accordingly he landed at 
Alpena, Mich., situated on Thunder Bay, Lake Huron, and there found em- 
ployment in the woods at Milltown. Shortly after accepting this position, 
however, he was taken ill with typhoid fever and returned to Alpena, and it 
was not until three months later that he was able to resume work. Upon 
returning to the woods he was paid $35 a month, and in the spring of the 
year he went out on the log drive at $3.50 a day. During the summer he 
worked on the state highway between Alpena and Saginaw and in the winter 
again worked in the woods. The following year he returned to New Bruns- 
wick. At that time a railroad from Bangor to St. John was in course of con- 
struction and suggested to Mr. Henry the idea of opening a general mer- 
chandise store. Accordingly he built a store and hotel on the shore of Magua- 
davic lake. There he continued successfully for two years, after which he 
sold the store and hotel and engaged in the butcher business, supplying the 
railroad company with meat. When the road was completed this store was 
closed, and although at a later date the same company urged him to open 
another similar place at a new construction camp, Mr. Henry did not like 
the conditions and so declined the offer. In 1873 he went into New Hamp- 
shire and again worked in the woods, having charge of the blacksmith shop 
for the lumbering camp. In December, 1873, he removed to Wisconsin, 
where he was with the Eau Claire Lumber Company, first in the woods and 
later in charge of the blacksmithing. The wages paid for logging were much 
higher, however, being often as high as $4 a day, and he later returned to 
the better paid labor. At another time he cooked for a crew of eighty men 
on the drive on the Eau Claire river in Wisconsin. 

A brother of Mr. Henry had for several years been located in California 
and his letters from the coast telling of the climatic advantages and of the 



336 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

higher wages to be had were the direct cause of his decision to come west. 
It w^as November 9, 1875, that he arrived at Eureka and during that winter 
he cooked for a crew of men on the Washington claim, where they were 
making shakes. The following summer he worked in the woods, and began 
at that time his search for land on which he might locate. There were at that 
time many men who were supposed to be locators but whose chief interest 
was in getting money from the uninitiated, who was often shown one piece 
of land and later found that he had filed on another, often many miles away. 
Mr. Henry had several unpleasant experiences with this type of tricksters, 
but his native intellect and his attention to detail saved him from serious 
mistakes. Later he filed on several good locations and after a time began him- 
self to locate others. This occupation he followed for several years, meeting 
with much success and making many warm friends by his careful attention to 
details and his absolutely fair dealings with the settlers. 

This work was eventually given up for the work of timber expert and 
contract estimating on timber acreage land, an occupation which he followed 
successfully until within the last few years. 

Many years ago Mr. Henry determined to build a permanent home at 
Blue Lake and at the earliest possible opportunity the foundation for the 
future home was laid. This was in the year that President McKinley was 
assassinated. This home is considered one of the finest in Blue Lake. After 
the death of his first wife several years ago this property was sold, but Mr. 
Henry still makes his home in the pretty little city. In October, 1913, in Blue 
Lake, he married M'rs. Mary J. (Hodgson) Barnum. Born near Toronto, 
Canada, she removed with her parents to Minneapolis, Minn., in 1860, and in 
1866 married Edwin Barnum, a native of Hamilton, Canada, and a soldier in 
the engineer corps in the Civil war, enlisting from Minnesota. He was en- 
gaged in the real estate business, but later removed to North Dakota, where 
he farmed for eleven years, then became a merchant in Lakota, afterwards 
retiring to Duluth, Minn., where he died in 1910. In the fall of 1912 the 
widow came to the vicinity of Redding, Cal., and in 1913 came to Blue Lake. 

Mr. Henry is well known throughout Humboldt county and has many 
friends wherever he is known. He has been a member of the Masonic 
lodge since 1868, having been made a Mason in Solomon Lodge No. 6, Fred- 
ericton, and since 1882 has been a member of Humboldt Lodge No. 79, 
Eureka. 

Although he is retired from active business life, Mr. Henry is always 
busy. His workshop is the center of his manifold activities and he is planning 
and working constantly on some one of the several inventions which he hopes 
soon to be ready to patent and give to the world. Among them is a window 
fastener, also a cuspidor lifter, both of which are a success. Several other 
articles have already been put on the market with much success and there 
are at present several more in the process of passing through the patent 
office. One of these is an ingenious automatic device to prevent fish from 
leaving the main canal and going into the small irrigating ditches and getting 
on the land, which will save millions of fish a year to the government. 

DANIEL MATHESON.— The city assessor of Eureka has seen much 
of life on the western hemisphere and has endured innumerable privations 
not only in the logging camps of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, but also in 
the undeveloped mining regions of Alaska, where he prospected during a 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 337 

pioneer period that considerably antedated the famous rush to that country. 
The experiences that came to him enriched his hfe with thrilUng adventure, 
but added nothing to his store of savings and for these he has depended 
largely upon the ordinary occupations of the work-a-day w^orld. The memories 
of his early life cluster around the little town of St. Stephen in New Bruns- 
wick, where he was born December 17, 1860, and where he received such 
meager advantages as local schools made possible. The family was poor and 
the need of self-support was thrust upon him while yet a boy on the home 
farm. Although skilled in all kinds of farm work he did not turn to the 
tilling of the soil for a livelihood, but instead found employment in the 
lumber woods of his native province, where his skill as a woodsman and his 
splendid health enabled him to earn higher wages than many others in the 
same occupation. 

During the years of his employment in New Brunswick forests Mr. 
Matheson heard much concerning the excellent wages paid in the logging 
camps of California and these favorable reports induced him to come to 
Eureka in the fall of 1882. He was then a young man scarcely twenty-two 
years of age, in the prime of physical strength and able to lead the crew 
in the logging camps and at the sawmills. To such as he naturally there 
came ready employment at fair wages. After almost three years in the forests 
of Humboldt county he went to Siskiyou county in 1885 and there had his 
first experiences in mining camps. While recognizing the fascination of the 
mines, he was not satisfied with the location and so in the spring of 1886 
sought the unexplored mining regions of Alaska. For a considerable period 
he mined at Juneau, a camp then scarcely known to the outside w'orld and 
containing so few of the actual necessities of existence that the record of 
its pioneers is a story of almost incredible hardships. 

It was in the midst of such a primitive environment that Mr. Matheson 
remained for two and one-half years. Upon his return to Eureka in the fall 
of 1889 he resumed work in the logging woods, but later took up the in- 
surance business and acted as agent for a number of prominent old-line 
companies. Meanwhile he acquired local prominence in the Republican party 
and did much to promote the welfare of that organization in his home town. 
In 1906 he was a candidate for the office of city assessor of Eureka, to which 
office he was duly elected and is now serving his fourth term, which he fills 
with fidelity and painstaking accuracy. With his wife, who was Mary 
Murray, a native of Eureka, and their son. Earl, he has established a comfort- 
able home in this city and is regarded as one of the public-spirited citizens, 
whose activity is proving helpful to local progress. With characteristic civic 
pride he has identified himself with the Eureka Board of Trade and has co- 
operated with all of its movements for the advancement of the town. In local 
fraternities he is no less prominent than in local politics, being a member of 
the Eagles, a leading worker in the blue lodge of Masons and at one time 
or another the incumbent of all the offices in the local camp. Woodmen of 
the World. 

JAMES MILTON FARLEY.— A native of California, and a resident of 
Humboldt county for more than twenty years, James Milton Farley is de- 
scended from one of the well known pioneer families of early California days. 
His entire lifetime has been passed within the confines of his native state, 
and for the greater part of that time he has been engaged in farming and 



338 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

dairying pursuits. His present home place is on the Eel river, and he is 
especially interested in dairying and the raising of registered and graded 
live stock. 

Mr. Farley was born in Sonoma county, a short distance from Petaluma, 
January 15, 1854. He is the son of Francis Hall Farley, a native of Ohio. His 
mother was Elizabeth (Kraut) Farley, born in Indiana. In 1852 the family 
crossed the plains with ox teams, to California, locating in Sonoma county. 
There were six children in the family at that time, and the present honored 
citizen of Ferndale was not born until two years later. The Farley family 
is one of the oldest and best known of the early pioneers, having lived in 
California since the time of their first coming to the state. When the son, 
James Milton, was a few years of age they moved from Sonoma county to 
Marin county. Here he attended the public schools until he was fifteen years 
of age, after which he remained at home assisting his father with the farm 
work until he was twenty-one. Later the father returned to Sonoma county, 
where he engaged in stockraising and farming until the time of his death. 

It was in 1875 that young Mr. Farley first left home and engaged in 
business for himself. His first venture was in the leasing of a ranch at 
Point Rey, consisting of some two thousand acres, and here he engaged in 
dairying and stock-raising, maintaining a herd of two hundred milch cows. 
For seven years he remained on this ranch, following this line of endeavor, 
and always meeting with the greatest of success. At the end of this period 
he sold his interests here, and moved to near Petaluma, where he purchased 
a ranch and again engaged in dairy farming and stock-raising, continuing here 
for another period of seven years, and making this venture as successful as 
the previous one. 

It was in 1895 that Mr. Farley came to Humboldt county, locating at 
Hydesville, where he was employed in the creamery. Within a short time 
he was made manager of this creamery, remaining in charge until 1902. 
He then returned to Ferndale and went to work for John Neilsen, on his 
ranch on Eel River island. Mr. Neilsen was engaged in dairying and farm- 
ing, and for ten years Mr. Farley was his trusted employee and intimate 
friend. At the end of that time Mr. Neilsen deeded him a tract of forty 
acres of partially cleared land, which is the present home place of Mr. 
Farley. Here he is engaged in farming and dairying, and is meeting with 
much success. He has cleared and improved the land, and brought it under 
a high state of cultivation. At present he maintains a herd of about twenty- 
five graded and registered milch cows. 

The marriage of. Mr. Farley occurred in San Francisco, September 11, 
1884, uniting him with Miss Maggie Winters, the daughter of John and Kate 
(Currey) Winters, and a native of Philadelphia, Pa. After Mr. Winters' death, 
the mother brought her two children to California, making their home first 
in Marin county, afterwards living in Petaluma, where she was married to 
John Neilsen, after which Mr. and Mrs. Neilsen lived in Humboldt county, 
engaged in farming; both are deceased. Mrs. Farley has borne her husband 
eight children, six of whom are Hving : NelUe, Mrs. Ed Ammer, of Ferndale ; 
Mable, Mrs. Antonsen, of Eureka; Ambrose; Katie, wife of Frank Ammer,' 
of Ferndale; Violet, Mrs. Milton Sweet, of Aberdeen, Washington- and 
Harold. 

Mr. Farley is exceptionally well liked in his community. He is a man 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 339 

of much reserve, quiet and dignified, but also respected and trusted by his 
friends and acquaintances. He is interested in all local questions, and is 
progressive in his ideas. He is a Democrat in his political affiliations. In 
the conduct of his business affairs he is thrifty and industrious, and his suc- 
cess has been won by careful and conscientious effort. 

ELIJAH H. FALK. — Lumbering has always been one of the leading 
industries which have contributed steadily to the wealth of Humboldt county, 
preeminently the one for which she is most noted ; and the men who have 
been connected therewith are looked upon as chief among the factors in her 
business development. Her rich timber lands have not only attracted invest- 
ors and practical lumbermen, but incidentally to their exploitation have come 
railroads, shipping interests and the various mercantile enterprises which 
inevitably spring up around prosperous communities of workers, in need of 
clothing, food and other household supplies and possessing the means to 
procure comforts. Mr. Falk's connection with the lumber industry is highly 
important. That he has gained the reputation of being the most skillful mill- 
wright in California and that many of his best productions are in LIumboldt 
county, speaks well for the lumber mills of this region and for his mechanical 
gifts. He has built a greater number of lumber mills than any other man 
in this part of the state, so it is an established fact that he has done his full 
share in bringing her manufacturing facilities in that line to the high point 
of development for which Humboldt county especially is renowned. 

The present mayor of the city of Eureka, Elijah H. Falk, is a native of 
Ohio, born October 4, 1850, near Findlay, Hancock county, son of David 
and Mary (Christmanj Falk. His parents were born in Pennsylvania, mov- 
ing out to Ohio in the early forties. Mr. Falk took up a government claim 
and farmed it the rest of his life. By trade he was a carpenter, and he worked 
at both callings. His death occurred in Ohio when he was sixty-eight years 
old. Five of his family still survive : Noah H., now a resident of x-\rcata, 
Humboldt county; Sylvanus lives in Ohio; Elizabeth is the wife of John 
Kyser, of Ohio; Elijah H. is mentioned below; Jonas lives at Newberg. 

Elijah H. Falk spent his youth and early manhood in Ohio, remaining 
there until 1878, the year of his removal to Humboldt county, California. 
During the quarter of a century which followed, his services as a millwright 
were in constant demand, and among the notable plants of his construction 
may be mentioned the Falk mill, the Warren Miner saw and shingle mill, 
the C. K. James sawmill, the Elk River sawmill, the Harpst shingle mill, the 
Carson shingle mill, the Shipyard sawmill, the original Hammond mill, known 
then as Vance mill, the immense Hines sawmill in Santa Cruz county and the 
Bucksport shingle mill, in connection with which latter he built a drying 
plant — the only shingle dryer of its kind in Humboldt county. By its use all 
the shingles are dried before shipping, this process reducing the weight two- 
thirds and the expense of shipping in proportion. Several days are required 
to dry the shingles with hot air, which is sent through the first department 
at the rate of thirty-two miles an hour and through the select kiln at the 
rate of twenty-four miles an hour. The capacity of the kiln is one million, 
four hundred twenty-eight thousand shingles, two hundred four cars, each 
holding seven thousand, being put in at once. The output is thus one hun- 
dred twenty thousand daily, and though the process seems tedious and is 
expensive it means so great a saving on freight that the drying equipment 



340 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

has justified itself to the great satisfaction of the mill owners. Mr. Falk was 
the manager of the Bucksport mill for nearly a year. Some time after his 
arrival in California he located at Areata, Humboldt county, moving from 
there in 1882 to Elk river, where in association with Messrs. HoUey, Harpst 
and Stafford he erected the Falk sawmill and remained for several years, 
giving his attention principally to the extensive business done at that plant. 
Since 1886 he has maintained his home at Eureka. Mr. Falk has been the 
designer of many other mills besides those mentioned, and his name will live 
with those of the ablest workers in the lumber regions of California. His 
achievements as a mill builder leave no room for doubt as to his natural 
endowments as a mechanic, or his ability to grasp the business possibilities in 
his line. Yet these qualities have been no more important in his useful career 
than the substantial traits of persistence, untiring effort and unwavering 
devotion to whatever he has undertaken. Eureka is proud to count him 
among her citizens, and he is esteemed for his fine personal characteristics 
as he is respected for his strong mentality. \A'ith the vision to see great 
things in his work and to bring them about by his faith and perseverance, he 
has realized some of the most sangviine dreams which the early lumber 
operators in this part of California cherished. 

Mr. Falk was married, in Ohio, to Miss Amelia J. Deabler, a native of 
Pennsylvania, born July 30, 1849. Of the children born to this union five are 
living, namely : William S., of Eureka ; Dr. Charles C, of Eureka, a leading 
physician and surgeon ; Dr. Curtis O., also a physician, of Eureka ; Laura B., 
who was graduated from Leland Stanford University in 1906; and Dr. Vernon 
Eugene, a physician at Modesto. He was a Mason in Areata Lodge No. 106, 
F. & A. M., also a member of Scottish Rite. He is an active member of the 
First M. E. Church of Eureka, and he is president of the Board of Trustees 
and is chairman of the Finance Committee, and is a member of the Board of 
Stewards. 

Though most of his time has been applied to business, Mr. Falk was for 
many years a Republican, but since 1906 he has espoused the cause of the 
Socialist party, being a firm believer in its principles. June 21, 1915, he was 
induced by his friends to become a candidate for mayor of Eureka and Avas 
elected by a plurality of three against three opponents. July 6, 1915, he took 
oath of office, assuming the duties on July 12th for two years. His aim is to 
raise Eureka to high standards in business as well as morals and his policy 
is justice to all mankind. 

ALONZO JUDSON MONROE.— The lineage of the Monroe family is 
traced back to Scotland, the progenitors locating in Connecticut in colonial 
days. Love of the frontier and fondness for adventure in unknown regions 
are family characteristics, which find expression in the Ufe of Alonzo Judson 
Monroe when, with gun and dog, he enjoys a hunting expedition into the 
woods far from the haunts of civilization In his father, Alonzo W., a native 
of Connecticut, the same traits found expression in a voyage to California 
around the Horn during 1850, when he joined a crowd of gold-seekers allured 
by the prospects of fortunes in the mines. A short period of mining in Trin- 
ity county convinced him that such work held no possibilities for him, so in 
1854 he came to Humboldt county and embarked in stock-raising near Hydes- 
villc, but later took up butchering at Eureka. When Nevada began to come 
into the public notice as a mining center he went to that state and was for- 
tunate in locating rich prospects. In honor of his home town of Eiireka, 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 341 

Cal., he named the new settlement Eureka and for years the mining town 
enjoyed a national distinction denied to its western parent-town. The locator 
of the Nevada mines returned to his old home, took up mercantile pursuits 
and continued in Humboldt county throughout his remaining years. In 
Masonry he was a member of Humboldt Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M. 

The marriage of Alonzo W. Monroe united him with Anna Maria Albee, 
a native of Michigan and a relative of Israel Putnam of colonial fame. Her 
father, Joseph Porter Albee, came to California in 1852, via Panama, and 
settled among the pioners of Weaverville, and in 1854 settled in Hum- 
boldt county, where in 1862 he was killed by Indians on Red- 
wood creek. The children of the Monroe family were named as follows : 
Joseph P., Alonzo Judson, John W. (deceased), Charles A., Horace P., Mrs. 
Nettie S. Stover, William H. T. and Mrs. Jennie Worthington. Born on a 
ranch near Hydesville, Humboldt county, October 19, 1858, Alonzo Judson 
Monroe attended the public schools at Eureka during boyhood. At the age 
of seventeen he began the study of law in the office of S. M. Buck, of Eureka, 
but after three years of assiduous application to books his eyes were weak- 
ened to such an extent that he was forced to seek other work. After his 
eyes failed he worked two winters in sawmills, one summer in the woods, 
made two trips to Honolulu as a sailor on a lumber vessel, worked a year 
in the mines in Humboldt county, Nev., and engaged in other manual labor. 
With the restoration of his eyes to normal condition he resumed the study 
of law and in 1882 was admitted to practice in the superior courts, while 
November 13, 1894, he was admitted to the circuit and district courts and to 
the circuit court of appeals. From the first he has practiced in Eureka, where 
he is among the leading attorneys. For one term he served as district 
attorney of Humboldt county and in addition he has been city attorney of 
Eureka, Areata and Blue Lake. 

Mr. Monroe was made a Mason in Humboldt Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M., 
of which he is past master ; also a member of Humboldt Chapter No. 52, 
R. A. M., Eureka Commandery No. 35, K. T., and Islam Temple A. A. O. 
N. M. S., San Francisco. He is a past grand master of the Grand Lodge of 
Masons of California and with his wife is a member of Camelia Chapter, 
O. E. S. Other organizations having his name enrolled as a member are the 
Knights of Pythias, Native Sons of the Golden West and the Elks of Eureka. 
Mr. Monroe and his wife are members of the Congregational Church in 
which they have taken a prominent part. For many years he has been a 
leading local worker in the temperance cause. By his marriage to Miss Lucre- 
tia Anna Huntington, a native of Illinois, he has three sons, namely : Thomas 
H., a graduate of the West Point Military Academy, a lieutenant in the Sixth 
U. S. Infantry, stationed at El Paso, Tex. ; Joseph P., and Hammond Mc- 
Dougal, of Eureka. 

PATRICK QUINN. — A resident of Humboldt county for almost fifty 
years, Patrick Quinn has always been classed among the substantial citizens 
of his section, and he may well be proud of the results he has to show for an 
industrious career. He owns and operates a large ranch in Table Bluf¥ 
township, and in improving this property has not only made a competence 
for himself and provided a living for his family, but has been a unit in the 
advancement and progress of the whole region. A man of his sturdy qual- 
ities, energy and ambition is a desirable acquisition to any community, and 



342 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

his useful life has brought him respect from all his neighbors and associates 
everywhere. 

Mr. Quinn's parents, John and Catherine (Whalen) Quinn, were natives 
of Ireland, the father born in County Waterford, and both are now deceased. 
When a young man John Quinn came to America, bringing one of his broth- 
ers with him, and they settled in Ontario, Canada, where they soon found 
work in a mill. They spent the remainder of their lives in that country. 

Patrick Quinn was born in Ontario in 1842 and grew to manhood there, 
remaining in his home town until he came to California, in the year 1865. 
The long journey was made by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and he landed 
at San Francisco in February, 1866. During the next four months he worked 
in a sawmill in Marin county. Then he joined fortunes with James Tierney, 
with whom he purchased a ranch on Salmon creek, in Humboldt county, Cal., 
paying $3,500 for the property. For several years they operated it in partner- 
ship, until 1872, in which year Mr. Quinn bought the property he has ever 
since occupied, in Table Bluff township, this county. During the forty years 
and more of his residence there he has continued the work of improvement 
steadily, with the result that the property has increased wonderfully in 
value, both as an agricultural and a real estate proposition. It comprises 
three hundred and fifteen acres of particularly productive soil, which Mr. 
Quinn has cultivated wisely, as its present condition shows. From the begin- 
ning he has been very successful, and he has combined dairying with general 
farming very profitably, keeping forty fine milch cows. His chief agricultural 
products are large quantities of grain. Through his industry and thrift Mr. 
Quinn has become one of the well-to-do farmers of his section, and he is still 
looking after his affairs with his customary interest and foresight, enjoying 
his w^ork with the satisfaction which comes when perseverance has had its 
rewards. Aside from several years' service as school trustee he has taken 
no direct part in the administration of the local government, though he has 
always used his influence for the encouragement of progressive movements 
and to uphold high standards of citizenship. Politically he has been a stanch 
supporter of the Democratic party, but has limited his activities to the casting 
of his ballot. 

On February 5, 1872, Mr. Quinn was united in marriage with ]Miss Mary 
McNulty, who was born in Texas, daughter of Owen McNulty, with whom 
she came to California in 1854. Mr. McNulty, a well known' citizen in his 
day, owned a fine ranch in Humboldt county which he carried on up to the 
time of his death. Ten children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Quinn: 
Catherine, who is the wife of A. C. Buxton, of Fortuna ; John F., an attorney, 
in successful practice at Eureka ; William J., a physician, who took his pro- 
fessional course at Cooper Medical College, San Francisco; Owen P., residing 
at the old home; Alice M., a school teacher; Irwin F., an attornev ; Frederick 
A., a graduate of St. Mary's College ; Albert E., head time-keeper for the 
Pacific Lumber Company; Harold J., a student in Jefferson Medical College. 
Philadelphia, and a graduate of the University of California; and Evelyn M. 

Mrs. Quinn has naturally been interested in the educational advantages 
of the neighborhood, feeling that the early training of children is vitally 
important, and she has shown her willingness to co-operate with her neigh- 
bors in securing the best privileges obtainable by several years' service as a 
member of the school board of Clark district. 




i/^^i^;;^^L.M/ C^Cu^.^^.iJl^9-(hL>*y. 




t3/^^^-<^2^2^^(r^ Otn^uolsut^c^o^i. 



HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 347 

JASPER ANDERSON.— The difiference between the former methods of 
hit-and-miss farming- and the latest scientific methods arc nowhere better 
illustrated than in the case of Jasper Anderson, who is one of the most pros- 
perous farmers of Hydesville and vicinity, his ranch being conducted on 
absolutely scientific principles. He owns some of the most valuable property 
in the county, including a splendid farm of over four hundred acres near 
Hydesville, where he makes his home, and a stock ranch of eight hundred 
acres at Roger's Resort, in Van Dusen township. His home place is a model 
of care and splendid management, every detail being as^ carefully looked after 
as the aiTairs of the most modern office, and no possibility for waste or fric- 
tion is allowed. House, barns, fences and land are kept in careful condition 
and the greatest returns are secured for the least possible outlay of effort. 

Mr. Anderson is a native of Iowa, born in Monroe county, near Eddy- 
ville, December 28, 1848. His father, Charles Anderson, was a native of 
Indiana, and there was married to Miss Matilda Frame. Later they became 
pioneer settlers in Iowa. In 1857 they again moved westward, coming 
first to San Francisco, and later locating at Lathrop, San Joaquin county, 
where the father died at the age of forty-five years. There are eight children 
by this marriage, and later the mother married again, becoming the wife of 
Isham Davis, by whom she had one son. Six months after his mother's 
marriage with Mr. Davis, Jasper Anderson went to live with an older brother 
in Sacramento, where he remained for some five or six years, working on the 
farms in the valley. In 1871 he came to Humboldt county and homesteaded 
on Mad river, remaining there for a year. He then engaged in sheep shear- 
ing, becoming one of the most rapid sheep shearers in the county, being 
able to shear one hundred sheep a day. When the shearing season was over 
he turned his attention to the manufacturing of buckskin gloves, in this 
enterprise being in partnership with his brother J. W. They bought the 
raw hides, tanned the buckskin by hand, and so were assured of a superior 
quality of material. One winter he and a partner killed three hundred deer 
on Mad river, tanned the hides the next spring and manufactured them into 
gloves in Hydesville. The product sold in Humboldt county, where it was 
well received. 

Mr. Anderson was married in Hydesville, January 1, 1884, to Miss Eleanor 
Case, the daughter of Horace S. and Caroline (De Lasaux) Cooper Case, pio- 
neers of Hydesville. Mrs. Case's first husband was William Cooper, a pioneer 
farmer and miller, who was shot by the Indians in 1861. A history of the 
Cooper family will be found in the George William Cooper sketch. Mrs. 
Anderson was born in Canyon City, Ore., but has been a resident of this 
vicinity since a babe of four months and received her education here. She 
owned a small piece of land which formed the nucleus of the present splendid 
farm. ]\Ir. Anderson also rented her father's ranch for several years, and 
later he and his wife became the possessors of the entire place. There are 
about two hundred forty acres of tillable land in this property, which is one 
of the best in the vicinity. He runs about one hundred head of cattle on the 
Van Dusen ranch, and conducts a dairy of about thirty or forty cows on the 
home farm. He also has some forty or fifty head of horses, principally mares 
and colts, and is interested in the breeding of fine Percherons, being the 
owner of the imported stallion Janvire, of that strain. Mr. Anderson is 
recognized as one of the most modern and progressive farmers and stock- 



348 HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY 

men in the county, and takes great pride in the care and management of his 
places. Among the improvements which he has installed may be mentioned 
electricity for lighting and an electric dynamo for running the milk separator, 
while other improvements are also in contemplation. 

Mr. Anderson is fifth in a family of eight children, as follow^s : Susan, 
John, Eliza, Jane, Jasper, Charles, Meriah (vv^ho died v^hen a small child) 
and Harrison. Mrs. Anderson has borne her husband seven children, all 
natives of Hydcsville, five of whom are living : Horace, whose sketch appears 
elsewhere in this edition ; Amy, who became the wife of George Robison, 
of Hydesville, and died leaving one child, Earl W. ; Arthur Jasper, who 
assists his father with the management of the home place, married Miss 
Sophia Petersen, and has one